On June 23, 2008 new federal money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regulations came into effect that require REALTORS® to collect personal identification information from buyers and sellers.
It’s the law
The Federal Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) requires financial institutions and REALTORS®, among other professionals and services covered by the legislation, to identify customers who conduct financial transactions.
These include buying and selling real estate or depositing funds. The Act also requires REALTORS® to keep these identification records for five years.
What your REALTOR® needs to comply with the law
They must obtain, record, and retain the personal information of their clients including date of birth and occupation. To do this, they must ask for a government-issued identification document such as a driver’s licence, passport, or residency card. You should NOT provide your Social Insurance card as identification.
Here are the situations where they will have to ask for your personal information:
- when you are buying or selling real estate
- if you are buying or selling privately, the law requires the REALTOR® representing the other party to obtain your personal information and keep that information on file.
- if you are acting on behalf of a third party (someone other than you).
Your information will be kept confidential
The only reason your REALTOR® keeps your personal information on file is to comply with the new federal laws. Your information WILL NOT be:
- used in any commercial way
- provided to anyone else except in response to a request from the federal agency responsible for compliance – the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC)
Who must report to FINTRAC
In addition to REALTORS®, other professionals and organizations are also required to ask for your personal information, inlcuding:
- financial entities including banks, credit unions, trust and loan companies and agents of the Crown that accept deposit liabilities
- life insurance companies, brokers or agents
- securities dealers, portfolio managers and investment counsellors who are provincially authorised
- persons engaged in the business of foreign exchange dealing
- dealers in precious metals and stones
- money services businesses
- accountants and accounting firms when carrying out certain activities on behalf of their clients
- individuals and any entity importing or exporting currencey or monetary instruments (such as a money order) of $10,000 or more
- lawyers and notaries public
- real estate developers and builders
For additional information about this federal initiative, please visit FINTRAC’s website or call toll-free 1-866-346-8722.By Shaz Karim, Tuesday, August 24th, 2010