The BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) has fined a mortgage brokerage firm $12,500.
An investigation found lnvis breached the Mortgage Brokers Act. Investigators found the company failed to ensure a broker did not meet with female assistants in the course of business activities except in the company of a supervisor. It also failed to directly supervise the broker starting in November 2019 when he ceased working out of the lnvis office.
The order from Jonathan Vandall, B.C.’s acting registrar of mortgage brokers, said the broker was charged in August 2000 with nine counts of sexual assault and convicted of three, resulting in a one-year suspended sentence and one year of probation.
The order said the broker applied for registration in December 2002 and a suitability hearing was held.
“The registrar determined that he was unsuitable for registration and barred him from applying for five years,” the order said.
On March 1, 2018, he was registered as a submortgage broker with lnvis, but the registration came with conditions.
Those included that he be prohibited from meeting in-person with any female individuals in the course of any business activities related to mortgage brokering and the mortgage broker industry for two years. That included consumers and industry participants except in the company of the supervisor appointed by a designated person in the company.
The supervisor also had to agree to conduct oversight of all conditions. Both the supervisor and the designated person had reviewed the conditions, the order said.
However, from December 2018 to February 2019, the investigation found the broker employed a female assistant and from July to September 2019, employed another female assistant.
One of those women was aware of the conditions but the other was not.
“During the course of their employment, there were occasions on which (the broker) was alone in the lnvis office with the female assistants while not in the direct company of the supervisor,” said the BCFSA document.
Moreover, at times, the supervisor was in the lnvis office, but not directly supervising the interactions between the broker and the female assistants.
“Neither female assistant reported any inappropriate behaviour,” the order said.
In November 2019, the broker stopped working out of the lnvis office and began working out of an office in a commercial building he had purchased. As a result, the supervisor could not supervise on a day-to-day basis.
In February 2020, the broker applied to renew his registration; however, it was found he had not completed the mortgage brokerage in B.C. course and an investigation was commenced.
On June 29, 2020, his registration was renewed with the same conditions pending the results of the investigation.
As of Aug. 25, 2021, he was still working out of his own office and not the lnvis office. As a result, a notice of hearing was issued to lnvis and the broker on March 2, 2022. That same day, lnvis's designated individual informed the registrar that lnvis would not be renewing the broker's registration.
To date, the broker has not applied to renew his registration.
The order said lnvis was aware of the registration conditions and agreed to them.
“The misconduct with respect to not properly supervising (the broker) occurred over the period of several years as (the broker) stopped working out of the lnvis office in November 2019,” the order said. “While there was no specific public harm as there is no evidence that (the broker) dealt with any females in an inappropriate manner, there was some risk of harm.”
lnvis was also ordered to pay $3,591 in investigation costs.
The company did not respond to Glacier Media's requests for comment.
Invis's corporate office is in Mississauga, Ont. It has offices in Kelowna, Port Moody, Victoria and Vancouver.