BCREA “encouraged” by measures to tackle money laundering

by Steve Randall14 May 2019

The recent recommendations to tackle the multi-billion-dollar issue of money laundering using real estate in British Columbia has been welcomed by the province’s real estate association.

BCREA says that it is encouraged by the recommendations set out by the Ministry of Finance’s Expert Panel on Money Laundering led by Maureen Maloney.

“The government’s investigations into money laundering have made clear what REALTORS® have known for a long time: real estate transactions are complicated and don’t just involve Realtors,” said Darlene Hyde, Chief Executive Officer for the British Columbia Real Estate Association. “We support swift action from the government to ensure an efficient, comprehensive system to keep the proceeds of crime out of real estate.”

The association, along with four other industry associations, made several recommendations for helping to stop money laundering in a joint statement published in April.

These included mandatory anti-money laundering training for all real estate professionals who come under the federal regulatory requirements and BCREA says it is hopeful that the government will now work with regulators to introduce this.

The association says that enhanced reporting and transparency from the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC) will go a long way in ensuring BC’s housing market benefits British Columbians.

“Right now, when a real estate office is examined by FINTRAC, the feedback is slow or even non-existent,” said Hyde. “Realtors have long been asking FINTRAC to provide immediate, specific suggestions for how they can improve their compliance systems. BCREA hopes the BC Government can work with FINTRAC to bring about the changes Realtors have been advocating for.”

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