Here are some of the stories that caught our eye this week:
OREA outrage over OSFI changes
The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) voiced their objections this week over changes to mortgage qualification rules currently under consideration by Canadian banking regulator Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI). The proposed rule changes were branded a “war on first-time homebuyers” by OREA’s CEO Tim Hudak, who argued that consumers are still reeling from recent mortgage rule changes and interest rate increases.
The most contentious change under discussion by OSFI is the extension of a mortgage stress test to homebuyers who have down payments over 20%. Under the new qualification rules, homebuyers with down payments over the current threshold for mortgage insurance would have to qualify with a rate two percentage points higher than the rate they negotiated. OSFI’s ruling on the issue is expected by the end of 2017.
Small Business Tax Changes
The federal government’s proposed tax changes have got small business owners from all walks of life up in arms this past week. Hootsuite’s CEO spoke out against the tax changes, noting that they could potentially hamper innovation, noting that the government “needs to be very favourable at the small end of the market” to help tech companies take root in Canada. As a counterpoint, experts argued that the level of outrage over these changes is greatly overblown as a result of poor communication of the changes from Finance Minister Bill Morneau.
Take a look at this CBC video that explains the changes to learn more about what’s to come for small businesses.
Canadians are going cashless
According to a new report by global payments provider Paysafe, 51% of Canadian consumers will have switched away from cash transactions completely by 2020. The report also notes that Canadians are visiting bank ATMs less frequently to withdraw cash, instead choosing contactless payment systems such as debit and credit cards, or mobile payment apps.
You can read Paysafe’s full report, here.