In a bid to combat money laundering in the real estate market, the B.C. Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) says it will form a new single regulator for real estate.
Minister of Finance Carole James says BCFSA, Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate and the Real Estate Council of B.C. will be combined to better protect consumers. “Through legislation, we are giving people the assurance they deserve, while continuing to create world-leading protections against money laundering and other criminal activity in our real estate sector,” James says in a news release.
Creating a single regulator was one of the central recommendations from a Real Estate Regulatory Structure Review in September 2018 and was also recommend in an Expert Panel on Money Laundering Report in May.
As the single regulator, the BCFSA will take responsibility over real estate licensing, conduct, investigations and discipline.
The BCFSA, which officially became a new Crown agency on Nov. 1, is currently responsible for regulating mortgage brokers, private pension plans and financial institutions.
Elain Duvall, chair of RECBC, says in a news release, “Today’s announcement is good news for both real estate consumers and the sector as we combine expertise in one regulator. As we work towards the establishment of a single regulator, public protection will continue to be the Real Estate Council of British Columbia’s primary focus.”
The Ministry of Finance is targeting fall 2020 to bring forward new legislation and expects the new regulator to be in place in spring 2021.