CIBC’s Dodig Says New Housing Rules to Slow Mortgage Lending

  • Bank’s CEO sees decelerating but manageable mortgage growth
  • Dodig commenting in Ottawa on new federal housing measures

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Victor Dodig said new federal government housing rules will slow growth in mortgage lending, though he expects the decline to be manageable.

“Everything will get mitigated in terms of growth," Dodig said in an interview. "The growth that you are seeing in lending over the past two, three years you’ll see some abatement in that growth but manageable."

On the federal government’s proposal to consult the industry on the idea of lender risk-sharing, Dodig said he’d like to see discussion involving all interested groups. Finance Minister Bill Morneau raised the prospect of bank’s sharing the risk of mortgage defaults, among other new housing measures introduced on Oct. 3 to stabilize Canada’s housing market.

“I think that what makes sense is that we have a good consultative period where we can have a dialog between all stakeholders so that the Canadian system stays stable and that Canadian taxpayers are not seen as supporting financial institutions but that Canada’s financial institutions remain competitive and there is stability in the system," Dodig said.

Canada’s banks, insurers and pension funds need to come together with government to create a “sizable” business growth fund to help small and medium-sized companies, Dodig, 51, said earlier Wednesday during a panel at the Public Policy Forum’s growth summit in Ottawa.

The basic model would be to fill gaps in the Canadian funding landscape, “but only where no other options currently exist,” he said. “Such a fund would provide patient, long-term capital to small and medium-sized growth enterprises -- those that are already past the venture funding stage and need the sustainable capital for future growth as well as job creation in Canada.”

Dodig called on the need for more innovation to help revive the economy, noting that Canada lost about 17 percent of its economic output since the last downturn, and Alberta alone saw 40,000 high-paying jobs disappear.

“The post financial crisis world in Canada has really had an adverse impact on our economy," the head of Canada’s fifth-largest lender by assets said. “Canadian leaders, all of us, and all aspects of Canadian society have to start harnessing innovation to create the conditions for sustainable cross-sector growth now and into the future."

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