B.C. attorney general opens door to background checks for money transfer/exchange businesses

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Vancouver Sun, by Gordon Hoekstra, March 19, 2019.  As quoted in the article: “B.C. Attorney General David Eby is considering a B.C. licensing system for money transfer and foreign exchange businesses, which are vulnerable to money launderers.

Eby was responding Monday to a Postmedia investigation that found two dozen money-services businesses in Vancouver, Richmond and on the North Shore are run out of condos and homes, others are run by real estate firms and property developers, and many that have no public face at the street level or online.

The investigation, published last week, also uncovered that a company and owner was fronting a money-services business for another person, and found companies that had supposedly ceased business were still registered with Fintrac, Canada’s financial information-gathering agency.

And court documents alleged the owner of one such business was also involved in an underground banking scheme to move millions from China to Canada.

Eby said the province is in the early stages of policy work on licensing money-services businesses.

“It is certainly possible that any provincial registry would go beyond requiring the principles and the address … to be registered,” Eby said Monday. “It could include background checks and further information to ensure that the businesses are not being abused for the purposes of money laundering.”