“I went through a FINTRAC audit last summer. It ruined a few weeks of my summer. This agency doesn't know what it is doing when it comes to our industry,” one REP reader wrote in response to the news that FINTRAC is pushing Realtor education about money laundering. “They dragged us around for a month, made us fearful for no reason at all and, actually, at one point, stated that our forms as supplied by CREA were insufficient and non-compliant.”
According to a report by the Canadian Press, the federal intelligence unit tasked with cracking down on money laundering has beefed up its efforts to crack down on money laundering within the real estate industry.
The agency assembled a workbook and webinars for educating agents on how to recognize and report suspicious transactions that could be cases of laundering.
But should that be an agent’s job?
Some say no.
“Downloading money laundering and terrorist detection obligations onto thousands of brokerages, financial institutions … and others is among the stupidest things the Harper government did,” reader Bill Johnston wrote. “I am all for nabbing terrorists and money launderers, but the job should be assigned to professionals (e.g. RCMP, CSIS, etc.), not amateurs.”
What are your thoughts? Have your say below.
Agents aren’t thrilled about the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre’s meddling with the industry, and they have been quick to air those grievances.