Prepared Remarks of MBA President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB, at the 2019 MBA Annual Convention and Expo

CONTACT
Rob Van Raaphorst
rvanraaphorst@mba.org
(202) 557-2799

AUSTIN, TEXAS (October 28, 2019) -  Bob Broeksmit, CMB, MBA President and CEO, delivered the following remarks at MBA's 2019 Annual Convention and Expo in Austin, Texas.

[Please Note: These are prepared remarks. Mr. Broeksmit may add to or subtract from these remarks during the course of his presentation. Portions of the text may be omitted during the speech.]

Thank you!


Rarely in life do you get to follow two of the people you MOST respect. That honor is mine today.

Thank you to Chris George and Brian Stoffers.

Let me say a few quick words about each of these men.

Chris, when I started this job, people told me that I'd have fun working with you.

And they were right.

We owe our achievements of the past year to you, and on behalf of all the members and staff of the Mortgage Bankers Association, thank you for your service as chairman of MBA!

And Brian, I'm excited to work more closely with you.

You've taught me pretty much everything I know about the commercial and multifamily space.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is one of the smartest people in our industry, and he is a true leader.

Brian Stoffers is the right man at the right time to lead the MBA!

Today it's my privilege to welcome you back to our Annual Convention.

As some of you may remember, 2018 was my inaugural year in this role.

I'd been on the job for only two months, and I was still getting the lay of the land.

But even then, my vision was clear-- because it was YOUR vision.

You said you wanted MBA to work for you in Washington, D.C.

Well, the results are in, and I have good news to report.

The Mortgage Bankers Association hasn't just worked for you.

We've DELIVERED for you, again and again-- and the past year has been a record of RESULTS.

Here are some of the highlights.

When the government shutdown halted the IRS tax return verification system, we worked with the administration to get it up and running-- FAST.

When the IRS implemented the qualified business income deduction for pass-through entities, we ensured that independent mortgage banks and community banks had access to it, saving even small lenders hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes, every year.

When the CFPB started working on a new innovation policy, we made sure it gave you the legal protection and streamlined process you need to serve your customers.

When Fannie and Freddie launched the new uniform mortgage-backed security, it reflected the MBA's input, going back years.

It's already giving our members a deeper and more liquid market.

As you'll hear in more detail soon, after years of MBA advocacy, the administration is making substantial positive changes to the FHA program, which will it make it more widely available by limiting your exposue to frivolous False Claims Act lawsuits.

And when the White House released plans for Housing Finance Reform, they bore the UNMISTAKABLE mark of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

An explicit guarantee on mortgage-backed securities, a pathway for new guarantors, and a level playing field for lenders of all sizes that puts consumers first-- ladies and gentlemen, it's a HUGE step in the right direction.

So, it's been a year of action and accomplishment, on your behalf.

But it's also been a year of preparing the way for what comes next.

You know better than anyone that new policies bring new challenges.

That's why we're getting ahead of those challenges.

We've secured a seat at the table on every important issue.

As the CFPB debates what to do with the QM Patch, MBA is there, telling them that we need a BETTER system.

It can't rely on DTI as standalone factor to determine QM status, and it needs to ensure creditworthy consumers have access to Qualified Mortgages with more options and better prices.

As the CFPB also moves forward with fixing the loan officer compensation rule, MBA has led the industry's advocacy, showing CFPB that the current system raises costs on American families and wraps your companies in pointless red tape.

And when it comes to Housing Finance Reform, we know that the recent plans are just the beginning of the debate.

Details are still being worked out, and there are risks that must be addressed.

I'll say a bit more in just a few minutes, but be assured that MBA is THERE, at the table, advocating for YOU.

We're talking with the White House.

We're talking with leaders from both parties in Congress.

And we're talking with every federal agency imaginable.

Our goal isn't "recap and release."

We recognize the need to rebuild capital, but we will fight to ensure that before the GSEs are released from conservatorship, we will have reforms in place-- by rule and by legislation-- that meet our core principles and will remain in place after conservatorship ends.

We have a seat at the table because we've built strong relationships with the people who matter.

Relationships are the foundation of your success, in your communities, and the same is true in Washington, D.C.

We invest heavily in forging strong bonds.

We bring data, we bring analysis, and we bring market experience to the room where decisions get made.

When policymakers have a question, they call US.

And when we call THEM, they pick up.

It starts with Congress.

Today, you're going to hear from a leader we know and work with regularly, Texas Senator John Cornyn.

We also work closely with the most important congressional leaders for our industry.

That includes Senator Mike Crapo and Senator Sherrod Brown on the Senate Banking Committee, as well as their counterpart offices in the House.

And I've testified in front of Senate and House committees several times during my first year.

We're also working closer than ever with the administration -- and this morning is the PROOF.

Just a few minutes from now, you're going to hear from the CEOs of both Fannie and Freddie-- Hugh Frater and David Brickman.

And before that, we have the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, and the director of FHFA, Mark Calabria.

We're glad to hear from both of them, because THEY hear from US pretty much every day.

No matter who it is or where it happens, when we sit down at the table, we're sitting across from people we know, and people who know us.

It's a testament to the entire MBA team.

You heard the same thing from Chris and Brian: This team is the BEST in the business.

Our research staff churns out the data that people rely on, from Congress to your companies.

Our conference and education departments design extraordinary programs that make our industry stronger every day. 

Our policy team identifies problems before anyone else does, and they come up with the solutions, too.

And our government relations staff relentlessly takes our message to the people who matter, turning ideas into ACTION, and proposals into POLICY WINS.

In all my years in the mortgage industry, I've never met a more effective team than this one.

And I worked at some pretty amazing places.

Please join me in thanking the men and women of the Mortgage Bankers Association!

We get results because we have a great team. But even more important... is ALL OF YOU.

Our members are our secret weapon.

When we sit down at the table with legislators or regulators, we hear the same thing, over and over: They respect you.

And it's no wonder.

Every day, you help millions of Americans realize their dreams.

You help them find a place to call home, a place to put down roots.

You give people a foundation to build on for the rest of their lives.

And you provide the products and services that keep our economy growing and thriving.

EVERY American benefits from what YOU do -- and policymakers know it.

That's why they listen to us.

They understand that they're really listening to YOU.

And they're not the only ones.

Listening to you is MY number-one priority, because I know how important you are to our economy and country.

I've spent most of the past year on the road, heading out to meet with our members. I've traveled to 24 states, hitting major hubs in every geographic area.

I've visited some states so many times, I might as well buy a second home there- I'll let you know if I need a loan.

Everywhere I go, I get a better sense of what our members need -- and how we can deliver.

And what I'm hearing from you right now couldn't be clearer...

You're telling us that you see storm clouds on the horizon.

UNCERTAINTY is growing, in the industry and the economy.

Most of all, you're telling us that you need STABILITY.

And STABILITY is what WE are fighting for.

Housing Finance Reform is the best example.

As the administration starts implementing its blueprint, we're urging them to do it right.

Leveling the playing field for private capital could mean a smaller GSE market share, which means it needs to be done with great care.

It needs to ensure access to affordable credit -- to preserve the mission of the GSEs to serve low-, moderate- and middle-income families -- and to make sure there is liquidity nationwide through all market cycles.

We also strongly believe that HUD should keep uniform pricing for FHA loans.

Qualified homebuyers of all backgrounds are depending on it.

The best way to reduce risk in the FHA insurance fund is to look at underwriting criteria to ensure long term sustainability, not to raise the cost of an FHA loan to those borrowers who can least afford it.

Collaboration is key to progress on these issues.

MBA is working closely with the realtors, the builders and the bankers associations to promote reform that strengthens the system, protects the taxpayer, and preserves the GSEs' and FHA's statutory purpose.

And we're working together to tell Congress to avoid any action that could undermine the housing economy.
The name of the game is action
AND caution.
The balance between them is where we'll find the STABILITY you need.

Whether it's Housing Finance Reform, the QM Patch, or any other issue, our message to legislators and regulators alike is the same:
Be SMART and be CAREFUL.

Our members, and American consumers, need clear policies and clear timelines.

Actions should be gradual and telegraphed-- a DIAL, not a switch.

We're telling them, in no uncertain terms: DO NOT DISRUPT the market.

Oh, and there's one more message we're telling policymakers: Keep talking to us.

The Mortgage Bankers Association is here to help. We can stop the worst policies, make bad ones better, and make good policies great.

We have the track record to PROVE it.
As we continue to advocate for you, we'll also continue to develop new services to help you succeed.
For example, the MBA Board recently approved a new task force on cyber-security.

We are committed to helping you protect your data, and through educational programs and other services, we'll keep you aware of what's coming your way, in the states and D.C.

And of course, we'll always advocate on your behalf, and continue to call for a federal standard for privacy and security.

On that note, I urge all of you to attend tomorrow's session on ransomware.

I guarantee you will walk away with a new understanding of the threats we face, and the steps we're taking.

Cyber-security is more important than ever, and we'll make sure that you're prepared.

That's what it means to be ONE RESOURCE.

Beyond education and advocacy, we're also taking new steps to AMPLIFY your voice.

As Brian mentioned, over the past year, we dramatically increased collaboration with other industry, consumer and civil rights groups.

Partnership with diverse groups is critically important, especially with a divided Congress.

There's often no other way to get good policies across the finish line.

I already mentioned our broad coalition on housing finance reform. We're also partnering with more than 20 organizations to replace the QM Patch with a better definition.

By working together, we can level the playing field for private capital and preserve access to QM loans for low- and middle-income consumers.

It's just one of many examples of how alliances make us stronger.

When we stand with others, our ONE VOICE is even louder.

And when it comes to making our voice heard, we also have some bullhorns.

The Mortgage Action Alliance is the largest grassroots lobbying organization in the industry.

It gives you access to a huge new toolkit to influence public policy.

And through our political action committee, MORPAC, you can support candidates who defend the cornerstone of the American Dream.

Getting involved has never been easier, and I hope you'll ALL sign up.

We've come this far because of you. YOU are the reason for every victory.

YOU are why we have a seat at every table.

And as we look toward the future, our goal is simple.

We will be proactive, not reactive.

And we will continue to deliver results.

YOU deserve nothing less.

As we strive to meet and exceed your needs, I urge you to keep giving us your open and honest feedback.

Keep telling us where we're succeeding, and where we need to focus more of our energy.

And keep standing with us and supporting us, every step of the way.

We have ONE VOICE -- yours.

And we are ONE RESOURCE -- at YOUR service.

And standing as one, I know: We'll accomplish even more over the next 12 months.

It may even be our best year yet. Thank you very much.

Enjoy the conference.

At the Mortgage Bankers Association, we have ONE VISION -- yours.