Single regulator coming for financial services, including real estate

Beginning Aug. 1, 2021, people buying or selling property will benefit from more efficient and co-ordinated regulation as BC Financial Services Authority will become the sole regulator for B.C.’s financial services sector, including real estate.

“Creating a modern, effective and efficient regulator is a big part of making sure people have consumer protection when buying or selling a home, while also building world-leading protections against money laundering and tax evasion,” said Selina Robinson, Finance Minister. “By uniting the regulation of financial services, including real estate, we’re bringing together tremendous knowledge and expertise into a single organization – BC Financial Services Authority.”

Legislation to enable the integration of the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) and the Real Estate Council of British Columbia (RECBC) with BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) was introduced in March 2021. With the necessary steps now taken to bring the legislation into force, the integration of the three regulators is expected to occur on Aug. 1, 2021.

Currently, BCFSA regulates credit unions, trust companies, registered pension plans, insurance companies and mortgage brokers, as well as administering the province’s deposit insurance program. As the single regulator, BCFSA will add several real estate regulatory accountabilities, including overseeing the education and discipline of real estate licensees.

“OSRE and RECBC have both played vital roles as co-regulators of the real estate industry, and this crucial work to regulate real estate will continue under BCFSA,” Robinson said. “On behalf of government, we thank these important experts for their work to date and congratulate them as they complete their move to BCFSA.”

In 2018, the Real Estate Regulatory Review recommended the creation of a single regulator of real estate to streamline regulation and clarify regulatory roles, noting that the existing system can make B.C.’s real estate market vulnerable to manipulation and abuse. This recommendation was echoed in the landmark 2019 report released by the Expert Panel on Money Laundering in B.C. Real Estate. The B.C. government announced the move to a single regulator later that year.


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