January 9, 2020, Vancouver -Buyers and sellers in British Columbia can feel confident that real estate professionals have the skills to identify signs of money laundering with today’s launch by the Real Estate Council of BC (RECBC) of mandatory anti-money laundering training.
The first mandatory course on anti-money laundering from a real estate regulator in Canada, RECBC’s Anti-Money Laundering in Real Estate course protects British Columbians by giving licensed professionals the tools and knowledge to help keep proceeds of crime out of real estate markets. Because real estate professionals work closely with their clients, they are well positioned to identify suspicious transactions. By ensuring they are trained to recognize red flags for money laundering, RECBC’s training will encourage their compliance with federal reporting obligations and empower them to actively contribute to preventing criminal activity in BC real estate markets.
“For most people, purchasing a home is the biggest financial commitment of their lives.” said Erin Seeley, RECBC Chief Executive Officer. “Protecting consumers so that they can feel confident about their real estate transaction is our first priority, and that’s why we’ve decided to make this new course on anti-money laundering mandatory for all real estate professionals.”
RECBC, together with the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate, is preparing to integrate with the BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) to create a single regulator for the financial services sector in BC. The creation a of single, integrated regulator, anticipated in 2021, will enable more opportunities for sector-wide education initiatives on issues like money laundering.
“Education is a key initiative in the fight to reduce money laundering,” said Blair Morrison, Chief Executive Officer, BCFSA. “RECBC’s introduction of mandatory anti-money laundering training for real estate professionals will help ensure that buyers and sellers of BC real estate are better protected from the negative impacts of money laundering.”
The new Anti-Money Laundering in Real Estate education course is the latest initiative RECBC has taken to fight money laundering. In 2019, RECBC became the first provincial regulator in Canada to partner with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) through a memorandum of understanding to share information to strengthen compliance, increase reporting of suspicious transactions and reduce the risk of criminal activity in the real estate sector.
The Real Estate Council of British Columbia (RECBC) is a regulatory agency established by the provincial government. Its mandate is to protect the public interest by enforcing the licensing and conduct requirements of the Real Estate Services Act. RECBC is responsible for licensing individuals and brokerages engaged in real estate sales, rental and strata property management. RECBC also enforces entry qualifications, investigates complaints against licensees and imposes disciplinary sanctions under the Act.
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