New Actions to Enhance Protection
Message from the Chair
New Actions to Enhance Protection
In this issue of the Report from Council newsletter there is so much to share about new partnerships, new plans and reports, and new commitments to providing the services that educate and inform real estate licensees and protect the public. Here is an overview of some of the key initiatives we’ve been working on recently:
New Anti-Money-Laundering Partnership
I am very proud to announce that RECBC has become the first provincial real estate regulator in Canada to partner with FINTRAC, the federal financial intelligence unit, to fight money laundering and terrorist financing. We have signed an information sharing agreement with FINTRAC that will enable us to share data and monitor trends and emerging risks in BC’s real estate markets.
We are also looking forward to working with FINTRAC to provide more education for real estate licensees, to help ensure that all licensees in BC have a good understanding of when and how to comply with FINTRAC reporting requirements. We all have a role to play in making sure that BC’s real estate markets are no longer attractive to money launderers. Read more about this new partnership, and stay tuned for further information in the months ahead.
New Service Plan Commitments
Earlier this year RECBC published its 2019-2022 Service Plan, which outlines our goals for the next three years, and the ways in which we will measure our progress in achieving them. As a crown agency, RECBC is required to publish a Service Plan every year, and I encourage each of you to read it.
One key goal for RECBC in the years ahead is to achieve service excellence. For real estate licensees and members of the public, that will mean less time waiting for the outcome of investigations. We are committed to reducing the average length of time that it takes to complete an investigation, and so we are working hard to streamline our investigative processes and resolve disciplinary cases as efficiently as possible. I’m looking forward to sharing more about our progress in this important area over the coming year.
Being transparent about our work is important to us, and so four times a year we update our Statistics page with new data about the number of complaints and anonymous tips we have received, the disciplinary actions we’ve taken, the brokerage audits we’ve conducted, and more. Numbers for our fourth quarter have now been added to the page, giving you an overview of trends for the past year.
New Report on Rules Implementation
Since new rules on agency and disclosure came into effect last June, we’ve been monitoring their introduction and impacts, to assess whether there is more that RECBC can do to help real estate licensees understand how to comply with the requirements. We’ve been talking — and listening — in a number of ways: through brokerage audits, through our Professional Standards Advisory services for licensees and the public, at meetings with groups of managing brokers across the province during our Listening Tour in the summer and fall of 2018, and through a survey of all licensees conducted this past winter.
You can read about everything we’ve heard in Making Changes: A Review of RECBC’s Implementation of Agency and Disclosure Rules. In this report, now available on our website, we outline our commitment to:
- introduce streamlined versions of the mandatory disclosure forms
- develop new information resources for real estate licensees and consumers, to help them understand the rules of agency and the services to expect from real estate professionals in BC, and
- industry and stakeholder engagement in any future rule implementation processes.
We will continue to monitor the impacts of the agency and disclosure rules, and we welcome your feedback about the findings in the Making Changes report. You can send us your comments at [email protected].