Re: Time to rethink FINTRAC (September REM)
As an established consultant in the anti-money laundering compliance field here in Canada, I have made it a practice to be open to the opinions from professionals working in the various sectors governed by Canada’s money laundering legislation. Since 2000, when the new AML legislation came into force and FINTRAC emerged as the regulatory authority governing the legislation, I have seen all reporting sectors go through a series of stages as they struggle with the new compliance requirements. Real estate officials have been quite vociferous in the first decade of compliance about why these requirements are needed in the first place; and specifically, why Realtors need to do this when all they are doing is selling properties and trying to make a living.
This rather tunnel-versioned perspective seemed to be disappearing somewhat these past few years, with more and more Realtors demonstrating that they truly get it now and can see how they can be used quite effectively to launder the proceeds of crime through the selling and buying of property – residential or commercial.
Then along comes Hannon Bell with his rant in REM, which makes me really wonder what he has learned and understood about this whole program in the first place. It is clear to me that he only wants to sell real estate and make a living and leave all the compliance to someone else – despite the ever-increasing evidence from across the world that real estate continues to be one of the most popular means through which criminals can hide their dirty money. Hannon has certainly done a disservice to the real estate sector through his narrow thinking in my view. AML compliance is here to stay I am afraid and Hannon needs to get over his feelings of being a pawn in someone’s chess game and start being a part of the solution – other Realtors seem to have got that message.
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Well said Hannon Bell! There is no need to make suggestions about what needs to be done, it’s really quite easy – give the task to the lawyers who actually handle and transfer funds as they are better positioned than agents to assess any risks. Though I doubt that they do the job unpaid as we do!
If I wanted to be a policeman, I would have joined the Mounties.
Furthermore if customs and border protection didn’t let these crooks in we wouldn’t have to be involved at all.
Re/Max Hallmark Realty