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Victoria mortgage broker facing multiple lawsuits has licence suspended

An embattled mortgage broker from Victoria has had his licence to practice in B.C. suspended by the BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA).

The regulatory agency says Gregory Martel, owner of Shop Your Own Mortgage (SYOM), can no longer conduct any mortgage broker activity in the province, effective immediately.

"BCFSA took this step after investigators obtained evidence indicating that Martel and SYOM had conducted business in a manner prejudicial to the public interest," said the agency in a release Wednesday.

Martel is facing multiple lawsuits from investors, including one that says the Victoria mortgage broker owes an Alberta company $17 million.

Earlier this month, his company Mortgage Auction Corporation – which oversees Shop Your Own Mortgage – was placed in receivership by the B.C. Supreme Court.

The BCFSA says that while none of the claims made against Martel and SYOM have been proven in court, it suspended his ability to operate in the province "on an urgent basis after BCFSA determined the length of time required to conduct an investigation or hold a hearing while Martel and SYOM remain registered to provide mortgage broker services would present a significant risk to the public."

In its reasons for the suspension, the BCFSA also noted that it was told by the Victoria Police Department that it was investigating Martel.

With files from CTV News Vancouver Island's Brendan Strain Top Stories

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