In an effort to combat dirty money in the province, the Real Estate Council of BC (RECBC) has unveiled a mandatory course on anti-money laundering for local agents.
RECBC CEO Erin Seeley said the course is the first mandatory training on anti-money laundering from a real estate regulator in Canada. Agents will be required to take and pass the course as part of their license renewal this year.
The course will help give agents the skills to identify signs of money laundering and flag suspicious transactions. Seeley said the training will also empower agents to protect their clients.
"Protecting consumers so that they can feel confident about their real estate transaction is our first priority, and that's why we've decided to make this new course on anti-money laundering mandatory for all real estate professionals," Seeley said.
According to a report in CBC News, more than $5bn in dirty money was laundered through real estate deals in BC in 2018.
RECBC is expected to integrate with the BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) and the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate, creating a single regulator for the financial services sector in the province.
BCFSA CEO Blair Morrison said this integration will allow for more opportunities for sector-wide education initiatives on issues like money laundering.
"RECBC's introduction of mandatory anti-money laundering training for real estate professionals will help ensure that buyers and sellers of BC real estate are better protected from the negative impacts of money laundering," he said.