Thursday, May 26, 2016

Feds Lax on Enforcing Real Estate Sector Anti-Money Laundering Rules

TORONTO—Ottawa needs to beef up its efforts to combat money laundering in the real estate industry, say critics and housing observers after documents revealed that dozens of companies haven’t shown how they’re trying to detect questionable transactions.

The Canadian Press reported this week that at least 85 firms have not fully implemented compliance plans intended to flag questionable transactions—including cases where money laundering is suspected—nearly 15 years after they were legally required to do so.

“We can have the best rules possible around keeping laundered money out of our real estate market, but if no one is enforcing those rules, what good are they?” said David Eby, the NDP housing critic in British Columbia, where some have said the housing market is particularly susceptible to money laundering.

“The realtors appear not to be taking the rules or the reporting obligations seriously, and Fintrac seems to be not too concerned when they see mass non-compliance.”  (more...)

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