Client identification and verification is required for all real estate transactions. Canada’s Financial Intelligence Unit or FINTRAC (The Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis of Canada) monitors these transactions. This independent government agency helps detect, prevent and deter money laundering and financing of terrorist activities in Canada and globally. It ensures that personal information is protected and only flags suspicious activity.
Real Estate Sales Associates, Brokerages and developers as well as financial institutions, and accountants are among many that must report to FINTRAC. For Real Estate Sales Associates, reports include Suspicious Transactions, Large Cash Transactions and Terrorist Properties. For identifying corporations, agents are obligated to confirm the existence of the corporation. This can be verified using the corporation’s Certificate of Corporate Status (Articles of Incorporation).
If a client is not physically present, a Mandatary can be used to fulfill the client identity obligations. Non-compliance and violation of these rules can result in a fine and/or imprisonment of a Realtor or Brokerage if implicated.