Anti Money Laundering (AML) in Canada
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|Money laundering is a growing problem in Canada. In recent years important changes have been made to legislation to ensure that a strong, comprehensive, and operational Anti-Money Laundering (AML) system is in place.
According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), money is made from entrepreneurial crime and is then disbursed through Canada’s legitimate economy. Based on the Proceeds of Crime (POC) initiative’s reports, drug trafficking is the largest single source of these proceeds, and banks and real estate are the main destinations of the revenues.
The years 2007 and 2008 were significant in the evolution of Canada’s money laundering and terrorist financing control initiatives. The key enhancement to Canada’s regulatory legislation, Bill C-25, further expanded the reach of the law to new reporting entities, fine-tuned many of the recordkeeping and customer identification practices, and added a major level of customer due diligence (CDD) through the introduction of risk assessment requirements and the need to monitor for politically exposed foreign persons. All of this was implemented at the same time as the release of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF's) evaluation of Canada’s AML/CTF regime and significant changes in the senior management team at the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). The RCMP are also very involved in the prevention and detection of money laundering within the country.
AML Training in Canada
The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) was passed in 2000 and amended in 2001, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013, and 2014. The Act requires that all Canadian financial institutions implement training programs to combat illicit financial activity within the country.
In December 2008, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) issued Guideline B-8: Deterring and Detecting Money Laundering. Then, in October 2010, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organisation of Canada (IIROC) issued the Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Guidance.
In 2013, the OSFI along with FINTRAC implemented a concurrent examination methodology where the OSFI would focus on AML risk management processes and controls needed to ensure compliance while FINTRAC focuses on the quality, volume, and timing of reports submitted by financial institutions.
The Economy of Canada
As an affluent, high-tech industrial society in the trillion-dollar class, Canada resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and affluent living standards. Exports account for roughly a third of GDP (which was approximately $1.432 trillion as of 2007). Canada enjoys a substantial trade surplus with its principal trading partner, the US, which absorbs 80% of Canadian exports each year. Canada is the US's largest foreign supplier of energy, including oil, gas, uranium, and electric power. During 2007, Canada enjoyed good economic growth, moderate inflation, and the lowest unemployment rate in more than three decades.
The five largest banks in Canada, known as the “Big Five,” are not just Canadian banks, but are instead better described as international financial conglomerates, each with a large Canadian banking division:
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is an independent agency of the Government of Canada reporting to the Minister of Finance. It is the primary regulator of federally-regulated banks, insurance companies, and pension plans in Canada.
Currency withdrawn from circulation is still legal tender. Despite the introduction of new notes, the 1986 series $20, $50 and $100 are still occasionally used, but $1,000 notes are rare. Coins are issued by the Royal Canadian Mint while bank notes are issued by Bank of Canada, Canada’s central bank.
Other Key Statistics of Canada
Time Zone: (UTC - 3.5 to - 8), Summer DST - (UTC) - 2.5 to - 7)
Population: 35,675,834 (2014 estimate.)
Languages Spoken: English and French.