First National Financial Corporation

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First National Financial Corporation
Traded asTSXFN
IndustryCredit Mortgage lending
FounderStephen Smith
Key people
Stephen Smith, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jason Ellis, President and Chief Operating Officer
Revenue$1.2 billion (2018)
$166.4 million (2018)
Total assets$106.2 billion (2018)

First National Financial Corporation ("First National", TSX:FN, TSX:FN.PR.A) is the parent company of First National Financial LP, a Canadian private lending institution based in Toronto, Ontario. First National is among the top three in market share in the mortgage broker distribution channel.[1]

First National is based in Toronto with over 900 employees and five regional offices throughout Canada, including in Calgary, Vancouver, Halifax, and Montreal.[2][3]

As of 2017, First National has $106.2 billion in mortgages under administration, 300,000 single family borrowers and over 5,000 commercial borrowers.[3]


In 1988, Stephen Smith and Moray Tawse opened First National for business with its first office located in Toronto.[1][4]

In 1991, First National expanded its company to Western Canada and opened a second office in Vancouver. In 1995, First National opened its Halifax office. As the company continued to expand, First National opened another office in Calgary in 2000 and in Montreal in 2008.[2]

In 1991, First National became a CMHC-approved lender in Canada, allowing them to lend directly to borrowers.[5]

In 2001, First National launched Merlin, an online mortgage approval and tracking software system.[5][6] In 2003, the system expanded to include commercial mortgage administration and investor communications. In 2007, First National introduced My Mortgage, an online mortgage management tool.[5]

In 2006, First National became the first Canadian lender to offer the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) insured Interest Only Mortgage, meant to help qualified home buyers to lower their monthly mortgage payments in addition to help their month-to-month cash flow. The Interest Only Mortgage offers the option of paying only interest for the first five or ten years of a mortgage.[4]

On July 16, 2014, First National Financial Corporation announced that its subsidiary First National Financial LP will supplement the Toronto-Dominion Bank with underwriting and fulfillment processing services on mortgages originated through the Toronto-Dominion Bank's residential mortgage broker channel.[6]

In 2006, First National had over $20 billion in mortgages under administration.[4] The following year in 2007, First National had $31.2 billion mortgages under administration, a 37 percent increase from 2006. The increase was mainly due to First National's growing market share in single-family residential mortgages and commercial mortgages.[3] In 2016, First National’s second quarter had a record high of $90.1 billion mortgages under administration.[7] By the end of that year, First National had a total of $99.4 billion in mortgages under administration.[8] In October 2017, First National Financial Corporation announced it had reached $100 billion in mortgages under administration.[9]

On October 1, 2015, Queen’s University’s School of Business changed its name to the Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business in honour of the $50 million donation made by Stephen Smith, Chairman, CEO and Co-founder of First National Financial Corporation.[10]

Effective October 30, 2018, Jason Ellis had fulfilled the role of Chief Operating Officer of First National Financial LP. This appointment came as the company continues to grow. Jason Ellis has been with First National since 2004, overseeing the Treasury and Capital Markets department and helped managed the company's relationships with investors. [11]

On June 19, 2019, the chairman and CEO of First National Financial LP, Stephen Smith, was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.[12]


In 2018, First National's revenue grew 10% to $1.2 billion with $106.2 billion in Mortgages Under Administrations.[13]

In 2017, First National administered $101.6 billion in mortgages, a 2% increase over 2017. 81% of its mortgages are insured by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation; 13% are conventional single family residential homes; and 6% are multi-unit residences and commercial spaces.[14]

Parent and subsidiaries[edit]

First National Financial Corporation is the parent company. First National Financial LP is the subsidiary that underwrites and services the mortgages. First National Mortgage Investment Fund is the investment fund for these mortgages. The First National Mortgage Investment Trust backs the short-term mortgages that are originated by First National Financial LP.

Credit agency ratings[edit]

2018 DBRS Ratings
Servicing Category Rating
Primary Residential Mortgage Servicing Good
Special Residential Mortgage Servicing Good[15]
2017 FITCH Ratings
Servicing Category Rating
Commercial Primary Servicer CPS3+
Commercial Master Servicer CMS3
Commercial Loan-Level Special Servicer CLLSS3[16]
2017 DBRS Ratings
Servicing Category Rating
Primary Commercial Mortgage Servicing Adequate
Master Commercial Mortgage Servicing Adequate
Special Commercial Mortgage Servicing Adequate[17]


  1. ^ a b "First National Annual Report 2017". First National Financial Corporation. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b "What does $100 Billion look like". First National Financial LP. October 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "First National Financial Corporation surpasses $100 billion in mortgages under administration". Canada Newswire. 12 October 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Canada, Employment and Social Development. "First National Launches New Mortgage Concept -". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  5. ^ a b c "First National Begins 25th Anniversary Celebration". First National Financial LP. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  6. ^ a b "First National to provide mortgage underwriting processing services to Toronto-Dominion Bank". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  7. ^ Randall, Steve. "First National grows mortgage book in Q2 Which Mortgage Canada". Which Mortgage Canada. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  8. ^ Randall, Steve. "First National hits new record Which Mortgage Canada". Which Mortgage Canada. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  9. ^ Vecina, Ephraim. "First National Financial Corporation reaches $100B milestone". Mortgage Broker news. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  10. ^ "Business Education Has a New Name". Smith School of Business. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  11. ^ Corporation, First National Financial. "First National Financial Corporation Reports Third Quarter 2018 Results, Announces Dividend Increase and Special Dividend Payment". Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  12. ^ "The Canadian Business Hall of Fame Welcomes Four Noteworthy Companions". 2019-06-19. Retrieved 2019-07-04.
  13. ^ "First National 2018 Annual Report" (PDF). First National.
  14. ^ "ANNUAL REPORT 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  15. ^ Randall, Steve. "First National Financial divisions get "Good" rating Which Mortgage Ca". Which Mortgage Canada. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  16. ^ "First National Financial LP Servicer Report". FitchRatings Structured Finance. 12 February 2018.
  17. ^ "DBRS Confirms First National Financial's Primary, Master and Special Servicer Evaluations of Adequate". DBRS. 23 March 2017.