Canadian regulators proposed changes on Thursday to bring more transparency and common rules for syndicated mortgages across the country.
Syndicated mortgage investments, which pool the funds of private lenders to raise funds for real estate development, have become popular in Canada, but have also led to thousands of pensioners and mom-and-pop investors putting their life savings at risk.
In the past decade, more than 20,000 retail investors have put as much as $1.5 billion into syndicated mortgages, roughly 90 per cent of which have ended in a loss or are at risk of doing so.
Prospectus and registration exemptions that currently apply to syndicated mortgages in certain areas will be removed, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), an umbrella organization of provincial securities regulators, said.
Investors would benefit from the potential involvement of a registrant, the agency said.
The CSA also said issuers of syndicated mortgages will have to deliver property appraisals prepared by an independent, qualified appraiser, a move that is expected to help investors make more informed decisions.