Last month, we reminded REALTORS® the temporary COVID-19 measures and “grace period” relating to compliance with FINTRAC regulatory amendments was ending.
As of April 1, 2022, FINTRAC began examining compliance with respect to all obligations.
Key amendments now in full force
When verifying the identity of an entity, you now have the obligation to obtain beneficial ownership information for that entity. In the case of a corporation, this may involve obtaining the names and addresses of all persons who own or control, directly or indirectly, 25% or more of the corporation.
The definition as to when a “business relationship” is entered into has changed. For REALTORS®, a business relationship is deemed to be created the first time they’re required to verify the identity of the client.
Politically Exposed Person or Head of International Organization
There’s now an obligation to determine whether a client is a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) or Head of an International Organization (HIO). This obligation is extended to close family or close associates of a PEP or HIO. The existence of a PEP or HIO requires additional monitoring of the business relationship.
Large Virtual Currency Transactions
The obligation to report Large Virtual Currency Transactions has been added to the disclosure requirements. This includes all forms of electronic or digital currency equivalent to $10,000 or more. This reporting obligation is subject to the 24-hour rule.
Resources to assist REALTORS®
As REALTORS® you have access to key resources on REALTOR Link®, including an office FINTRAC policy manual template; FAQs; helpful contact details; and forms that can be used as step-by-step guides to PEP and beneficial ownership obligations.
A more detailed list of regulatory amendments can be found in the Notice to Reporting Entities on FINTRAC’s website. In addition to these resources, you’ll also find FINTRAC’s general guidance and resources for the real estate sector. The guidance document outlines information with respect to identifying your client, reporting, and record keeping.