Market Updates
Why Does FINTRAC Matter?

We’ve all been there.

The property has been sold, all conditions waived, and closing is fast approaching. Why is my broker asking me for more information? 

As a requirement of all real estate sale transactions across the country – residential or commercial – brokers are required by law to obtain knowledge that their client is operating in good faith.

Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, or FINTRAC, is a government-run body designed to track suspicious transactions to prevent such activities as money laundering and terrorism. Real estate falls under these categories. As a result, all brokerages are required to implement policies and procedures around FINTRAC, and all Canadian brokers are required by law to obtain visual confirmation of their client, documentation proving their Canadian residency status, and in the case of commercial transactions, articles of incorporation.

Sometimes (but not often), buyers and sellers do not want to provide this information due to privacy concerns. In these instances, we are required to report to FINTRAC that one of our clients will not co-operate.

Here are some things you can do to help the transaction process go as smooth as possible:

  • As soon as the Purchase Agreement is signed by all parties, provide the necessary documents to your Agent. Our administration will keep this information in a secure file.
  • Meet with your broker with a government-issued ID so we may confirm your identity. Due to the Pandemic, this may be done virtually.
  • Ensure that all authorized directors provide the same.

If you have privacy concerns:

  • We keep all information on a secure drive in the event the Brokerage gets audited. 
  • We will never provide your personal or corporate information to any unauthorized person – this information is only available to our Compliance Officer and the agent who represents you.
  • Speak to your lawyer for additional reassurance, and visit fintrac-canafe.gc.ca to find out more about the FINTRAC program. We also have e-pamphlets available to provide an outline of who FINTRAC is and why they operate.

As a recap, all Canadian real estate brokerages are required by federal law to obtain this information. This is true of all real estate transactions, from residential to commercial, and from British Columbia all the way to Prince Edward Island. Help us out by doing your due diligence to keep our country safe.

For more information on FINTRAC, please check out Mr. Mark Wiesleder’s article in Real Estate News Exchange’s recent article, FINTRAC: 5 things to remember in 2022.

 

For more information on Blair Blanchard Stapleton, or to speak to an agent, feel free to get in touch.

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