While some banks are looking for Ottawa to manage their mortgage business for them, Scotiabank has the right idea and understands that Canadian lenders are obligated to manage their own portfolios. At Scotiabank’s annual meeting on Tuesday, Rick Waugh, the bank’s chief executive officer said “it’s up to the banks themselves – not government or regulators – to manage our risks and advise our customers appropriately.”
Scotiabank stands apart from other banks that have gone public in their pleas for the federal government to step in and regulate the mortgage industry. It’s not their lack or risk management at play, but their limited competitive nature. The big 5 banks have enjoyed a fruitful oligopoly over the Canadian landscape and don’t want to mess up a good thing. By managing their mortgage business differently they can limit their growth to less risky loans but will shrink their market share.
Rick Waugh is not shrinking from the challenge. He sees the strength in the Canadian real estate market and is willing to run his own business accordingly.