British Columbians are invited to take part in public engagements on creating a central registry of company beneficial ownership, as well as modernizing mortgage broker regulation to guard against money laundering.
“Money laundering in our economy must end,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “These consultations are an opportunity for the public to voice concerns around how we can prevent dirty money from coming into our communities through these channels and create a better, safer British Columbia. I encourage the public and B.C. businesses to provide their valuable input by March 13, 2020.”
The consultations are important steps forward in government’s efforts to combat money laundering in B.C.’s economy and reflect key recommendations from the Expert Panel on Money Laundering in B.C. Real Estate.
In its landmark report, the panel identified the disclosure of beneficial ownership as the single most important measure that can be taken to combat money laundering. The government has already begun a beneficial land ownership registry for real estate, launching in spring 2020. Establishing a registry of beneficial ownership for private B.C. businesses would further solidify B.C. as a world leader in combating money laundering.
Feedback for both consultations will be accepted until 4 p.m. on March 13, 2020.
To participate in the public consultation on the beneficial ownership registry, go to: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/consultation/corporate-beneficial-ownership-registry-consultation
To participate in the public consultation on mortgage broker regulation, go to: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content?id=ACF4488B55894B8F9DDE09EB74456BBF
The Expert Panel on Money Laundering in B.C. Real Estate released its Combatting Money Laundering report in May 2019.
The panel’s report estimates $7.4 billion was laundered in B.C. in 2018, including $2.1 billion in non-housing sectors.
As of May 1, 2020, all B.C. private companies will be required to keep transparency registers of beneficial owners within their records offices.
The Land Owner Transparency Act will create Canada’s first beneficial land ownership registry for real estate.