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Mandatory anti-money laundering education for real estate professionals among industry recommendations

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VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – The biggest players in British Columbia’s real estate sector are weighing in on the government’s efforts to fight money laundering.

Mandatory anti-money laundering education for all real estate professionals is among recommendations submitted to the province and the federal government to tackle the issue in B.C.

Organizations like the BC Real Estate Association are among the groups pushing for the recommendations, many of which have to do with Canada’s financial intelligence agency, FINTRAC.

Related article: RCMP faces ‘significant challenges’ in money laundering fight: deputy commissioner

Generally, they want more FINTRAC data to be made available to B.C.’s professionals, lawmakers, and the media.

This comes a week after it was revealed in a report that Ottawa didn’t have any federal officers investigating money laundering in this province.

The new report by former high-ranking RCMP officer Peter German comes less than a year after his first, which exposed money laundering vulnerabilities at B.C. casinos.

In a statement, Attorney General David Eby and Minister of Finance Carole James say they are “pleased that five real estate organizations have come together to help fight money laundering in British Columbia.”

Related Article: B.C. introduces law to prevent money laundering, tax evasion in real estate

“This commitment by real estate professionals to collaborate and develop best practices will go a long way towards getting dirty money out of the real estate market, protecting consumers and helping industry professionals improve their knowledge and regulatory compliance,” the statement reads.

The recommendation from the BC Real Estate Assocaition, Appraisal Institute of Canada – BC Association, BC Notaries Association, Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association – British Columbia, and the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver also include sectors only accepting verified funds, smart regulation would see an amendment to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act to allow additional sharing of information, ongoing engagement, as well as timely and transparent reporting.