Five organizations representing key professions in the B.C. real estate sector have submitted joint recommendations to the provincial and federal governments to help protect B.C.’s housing market from money laundering. They include mandatory anti-money laundering education programs for all real estate professionals.

In the submission, the organizations also commit to shared best practices to help keep the proceeds of organized crime out of the economy. All of the organizations say they have fully supported and participated in the government’s investigations into money laundering and real estate.



The participating organizations are the British Columbia Real Estate Association, the Appraisal Institute of Canada – B.C. Association, B.C. Notaries Association, Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association – British Columbia, and the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

Here are the recommendations:

1. Accept only verified funds

For sectors of real estate that are not already required to do so, we recommend that they accept funds only in forms that are verifiable through Canadian financial institutions.

2. Mandatory anti-money laundering education

We recommend the introduction of mandatory anti-money laundering education for all real estate professionals subject to the reporting requirements administered by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) to ensure that those professionals are trained in recognizing and reporting suspicious transactions. FINTRAC should work with sector organizations, regulators and the provincial government to improve existing resources so that they better reflect real-world situations and improve compliance.

3. Smart regulation

We recommend that the federal government amend the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act to allow FINTRAC intelligence to be made available to additional regulatory authorities, including the B.C. Securities Commission and the Financial Institutions Commission. Optimally, the federal and provincial governments, as well as their respective agencies, should co-ordinate their actions, share information, such as the provincial assignment registry, and create a comprehensive, efficient enforcement regime.

4. Ongoing engagement

We recommend governments and regulatory agencies, including FINTRAC, better utilize on-the-ground experience of real estate professionals to develop compliance resources and test policy ideas. This will result in well-crafted, practical regulation and foster a culture of compliance to protect consumers and the economy.

5. Timely and transparent reporting

We recommend that FINTRAC implement a framework to identify and report trends on a regular basis and in language that is consistent and understandable to professionals, the public and media. This reporting system should also include consistency in examinations with immediate feedback designed to help industry professionals improve their compliance systems.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Taxpayers invest hundreds of millions of dollars a year into CISIS and the RCMP to counter money laundering and all they have to show for it is a handful of convictions. The B.C. government, who greatly benefit from the proceeds of crime being laundered through our Casinos and the home purchase tax, have looked the other way for many years because of the lucrative cut they receive from the Casinos. For the past few years, us, UNPAID, citizens, us Realtors, have been given the task of using FINTRAC to catch the bad guys. How is that working out? Zilch convictions. Seems to me, no one of authority really cares. The recommendations listed above are ‘old hat’ to the powers that be who should be seriously eliminating ‘money laundering’ in Canada and aren’t! In B.C. our new Attorney General has done ‘lip service’ to eliminating and going after ‘money launderers’. The hard evidence has been on the designated forces and Government doorstep for years to no avail. Our B.C. Government is more concerned with raising ICBC rates, and ‘capping’ disability payouts placing the blame on everything except the real culprits, namely, poor management and poor investments of our premium payments. As long as our Governments continue to rake in giant tax money from Casinos, home purchase tax and the Gas companies, don’t expect any appreciable changes to be made! (except maybe adding another page to the FINTRAC report to be filled out by Realtors.

  2. In 32 years in real estate it is my opinion that much foreign investment in Canada in recent decades has been money laundering by wealthy people and organizations of other countries. People who want to diversify their ill gotten gains from places where the rule of law was less enforced than here. It is also my opinion that it is still going on at the highest levels from smaller business’s to the tar sands investors. I believe our government is only pretending to care. But; good luck on stopping it.

  3. Why is that the Realtor that doesn’t get a steady paycheque have to police and go after criminal organizations at our expense. What are we the RCMP or CISIS! I think, the BC provincial governments past and present who turned a blind eye when all this happened know who the bad guys are. So just go and arrest them.

  4. Has BCREA gotten away with this scam once again. Are Brokerages who have flaunted the law the last 10 years going to be let off the hook?

    You couldn’t even get a commission check with our Brokerage unless you had a FInTRAC personal ID form on file for your client for over a decade.

    It is really amazing to watch OREA and BCREA in the post mandatory membership days. Rebranding, Refocused and willing to do anything to pretend to be a needed cost to realtors.

    When is OREA going to release their version of realtylink.ca? I am sure Centris would gladly get you up and
    running in 30 days. Forget TREB and go for the rest of the Provinces Boards.

    OREA for some reason is not aware the Majority of Ontario Broker Owners want OREA to run a Provincial Listings Website and have for a decade.

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