Homebuyers with less than a 20 per cent down payment are required to obtain mortgage default insurance from either CMHC or one of the private mortgage insurers. The Canadian Bankers Association warned the previous government that shifting more mortgage risk onto the banks could threaten the country's financial stability. The industry association laid out its position in a letter to CMHC penned in August 2014, which was obtained by The Canadian Press through an Access to Information request last year. The Department of Finance said last November that it had undertaken preliminary research to examine the impact of shifting more of the risk to the banks.
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Siddall made his comments Monday during a luncheon hosted by the C.D. Howe Institute, a think-tank that once called for the privatization of the CMHC. During his speech, Siddall defended the organization's status as a public institution, arguing that it played an important role during the 2008 global financial crisis. "As a Crown corporation with a public policy mandate, CMHC needs to be present in the market through all economic cycles," he said. "This is a fundamental way in which we contribute to Canada’s financial stability. In fact, our role now in Alberta is to support continuous access for Albertans to the housing market, even if private insurers choose to pull back."