CMHC’s business shrinks amid Ottawa insurance cap

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.’s insurance volumes dove 37 per cent in the latest quarter from a year ago, as Ottawa seeks to rein in the Crown corporation’s growth.

The bulk of the decline stems from the government’s decision to cap the total amount of insurance that CMHC can have in force at $600-billion, a move that has forced the mortgage insurer to shrink the amount of portfolio or bulk insurance it offers banks to virtually nil. (Portfolio insurance enables banks to protect broad swaths of mortgages that aren’t required to be insured, which reduces capital requirements for the banks).

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