Regulatory Information

February 27, 2017

Fintrac to work with Finance Canada to review the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act legislation in relation to their penalty program. They will also examine their administrative monetary penalty policies to ensure, among other things, that they strike an appropriate balance between the need for transparency and the requirements of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.

February 27, 2017

WASHINGTON—The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today announced the assessment of a $7 million civil money penalty (CMP) against Merchants Bank of California of Carson, CA for willful violations of several provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the primary federal regulator of Merchants, has identified deficiencies in the Bank’s practices that resulted in violations of previous consent orders entered into by Merchants, as well as other violations. The OCC simultaneously assessed a $1 million CMP against Merchants for these violations.

February 23, 2017

WASHINGTON—The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today announced the renewal of existing Geographic Targeting Orders (GTO) that temporarily require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used to pay “all cash” for high-end residential real estate in six major metropolitan areas. FinCEN has found that about 30 percent of the transactions covered by the GTOs involve a beneficial owner or purchaser representative that is also the subject of a previous suspicious activity report. This corroborates FinCEN’s concerns about the use of shell companies to buy luxury real estate in “all-cash” transactions.

January 19, 2017

Washington, D.C. – The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has assessed a $184 million civil money penalty today against Western Union Financial Services, Inc. (WUFSI). WUFSI consented to FinCEN’s determination that prior to 2012, WUFSI willfully violated the Bank Secrecy Act’s anti-money laundering (AML) requirements by failing to implement and maintain an effective, risk-based AML program and by failing to file timely suspicious activity reports (SARs).  FinCEN’s penalty is in conjunction with actions by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

January 11, 2017

On December 20, 2016, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada ("FINTRAC") released new guidelines in respect of politically exposed persons ("PEPs") and heads of international organizations ("HIOs"). A separate guideline was released for each of financial entities, securities dealers, life insurance companies, agents and brokers and money services businesses and will be effective June 17, 2017.

Below are the URL's to each separate guideline.

Politically exposed persons and heads of international organizations – Financial entities

Politically exposed persons and heads of international organizations – Securities dealers

Politically exposed persons and heads of international organizations – Money services businesses

Politically exposed persons and heads of international organizations – Life insurance companies, brokers and agents

December 22, 2016

This Operational Alert provides specific guidance to Canadian reporting entities about named foreign financial entities through which the Canadian financial system could be exposed to Daesh-related terrorist financing. These foreign entities should be considered high-risk by reporting entities. These businesses should file suspicious transaction reports or attempted suspicious transaction reports where entities set out in Appendix A are party to transactions that reporting entities process and where they have reasonable grounds to suspect it relates to terrorism financing.

 

December 12, 2016

Amendments to the Business Corporations Act (Ontario) (the “OBCA”), the Corporations Act (Ontario) (the “Corporations Act”) and the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 (Ontario) (the “NFP Act”) (collectively, the “Amendments”) now require all Ontario corporations to keep a record of their ownership interests in land in Ontario. The Amendments are a result of the passing by the Ontario government of the Budget Measures Act, 2015 (Bill 144) (the “BMA”), which received Royal Assent on December 10, 2015. The BMA, which amends multiple statutes and enacts five new statutes including the Forfeited Corporate Property Act, 2015 (Ontario) (the “FCPA”), came into force on December 10, 2016.

Source: Wildeboer Dellelce

December 6, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it has fined Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC $16.5 million for anti-money laundering (AML), supervision and other violations.

FINRA found that Credit Suisse’s suspicious activity monitoring program was deficient in two respects. First, Credit Suisse primarily relied on its registered representatives to identify and escalate potentially suspicious trading, including in microcap stock transactions. In practice, however, high-risk activity was not always escalated and investigated, as required. Second, the firm’s automated surveillance system to monitor for potentially suspicious money movements was not properly implemented. A significant portion of the data feeds into the system were missing information or had other issues that compromised the system’s effectiveness. The firm also chose not to utilize certain available scenarios designed to identify common suspicious patterns and activities, and it failed to adequately investigate activity identified by the scenarios that the firm did utilize. 

November 22, 2016

Report on the work FINTRAC carried out in 2015–16 to help protect Canadians and the integrity of Canada's financial system. Over the past year, FINTRAC provided 1,655 disclosures of actionable financial intelligence to their police, law enforcement and national security partners to assist their investigations of money laundering, terrorism financing and other threats to Canada's security.

FINTRAC Annual Report 2016 PDF version

November 15, 2016

Operational brief: Indicators of money laundering in financial transactions related to real estate

Operational Briefs are intended to provide clarification and guidance on issues that impact the ability of reporting entities to maintain a strong compliance regime. More specifically, these products are focused on risk and vulnerabilities associated with exploitation for money laundering and terrorist activity financing, and on meeting reporting obligations with respect to suspicious transaction reports.

SEE ALSO: Canadian Real Estate Industry on FINTRAC Watch List

French Version: http://www.canafe-fintrac.gc.ca/publications/operation/real-fra.asp