Taking Action to Combat Money Laundering
As part of RECBC’s ongoing commitment to address risks associated with money laundering, Council members recently approved the development of a new mandatory regulatory education course: an anti-money laundering course that will be introduced in the coming months.
Money laundering is a serious issue that impacts all British Columbians across our province. The recent report from the Expert Panel on Money Laundering in BC Real Estate led by Professor Maureen Maloney has revealed the impact that money laundering activities have had on the provincial economy, as well as identified the risks of real estate licensees being exploited by money launderers. To help ensure the safety of BC real estate markets, earlier this year RECBC partnered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), through a memorandum of understanding, to strengthen compliance, increase reporting of suspicious transactions and reduce the risk of criminal activity in the real estate sector. Now, with the introduction of mandatory anti-money laundering education, RECBC is taking further steps to ensure that real estate professionals understand the important role they play as agents to know their client and assess risk so that they do not assist those seeking to launder money.
The mandatory course will be delivered online and in a self-paced format, allowing learners the flexibility to access course content at the time and place most convenient for them. The curriculum, developed by experts in the field, will begin with a review of the basics – defining money laundering, how it happens and its socioeconomic impacts and risks to society. The course will introduce “know your client” methods for real estate professionals to establish their customers’ identity, understand the nature of their customers’ activities and assess money laundering risks associated with the customer. It will also cover the requirements for real estate professionals under the FINTRAC compliance regime.
By raising the level of knowledge and awareness of the risks of money laundering among real estate professionals, RECBC’s aim is to ensure that the public can have full confidence that real estate professionals understand their role in preventing proceeds of crime from entering BC’s real estate markets. Introducing mandatory education for real estate professionals on anti-money laundering was one of five recommendations put forward in the spring of 2019 by the British Columbia Real Estate Association, the Appraisal Institute of Canada – BC Association, BC Notaries Association, Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association – British Columbia, and the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.
We will provide updates as development continues on the new anti-money laundering course, stay tuned!