Five agencies are banding together to help fight money laundering in British Columbia’s real estate industry.
VICTORIA — Cash-less transactions, mandatory education and better information-sharing among governments are some of the recommendations to fight money laundering proposed Monday by B.C.’s real estate sector.
Five agencies that represent real estate agents, appraisers, notaries and mortgage brokers issued an open submission to the B.C. and federal governments that called for greater action on combating money laundering.
“We’ve been working on this for several months,” said Darlene Hyde, CEO of the B.C. Real Estate Association. “We looked at our sector and said we can’t come at this piecemeal, we have to come at it with a collaborative and cooperative approach with all parties coming to a solution.
“Anti-money-laundering efforts have been pretty fractured, incoherent and siloed and maybe have not had the impact they could have had. We felt we needed a multi-pronged and multi-partied approach.”
The five groups recommended that those involved in real estate only accept verified funds and stop dealing in cash. They also proposed mandatory training to help professionals submit suspicious transactions to the anti-money-laundering agency Fintrac. And they called on Ottawa to better share Fintrac’s data with provincial agencies like the B.C. Securities Commission, so that everyone could coordinate enforcement. Fintrac should also be reporting regularly to the public on trends in suspicious activity and compliance, the groups said.