The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) on Monday issued a warning about an unlicensed firm that’s allegedly offering syndicated mortgage investments in Ontario.
A firm known as GCA Group “appears to be soliciting syndicated mortgage investments through its website,” FSCO says in a statement, and is purportedly using an address in Toronto.
However, the firm is not licensed or registered to conduct syndicated mortgage business in Ontario, according to FSCO.
“Consumers should exercise caution if they are contacted by anyone claiming to represent GCA Group or using these coordinates. Consumers should not enter into a syndicated mortgage investment through GCA Group,” the regulator warns.
In its provincial budget handed down last month, the Ontario government indicated that it is planning to transfer regulatory oversight of syndicated mortgage investments from FSCO to the Ontario Securities Commission.
“This is consistent with both the expert advisory panel’s report and the manner in which these products are regulated in other provinces,” the government said in the budget.
In the budget, the province also pledged to introduce new regulations to enhance consumer protection in this area by establishing investment limits on these products, requiring mortgage brokerages to document their suitability assessments, and enhancing disclosure requirements.