New controversy in Metro Vancouver’s red-hot housing market.
The Globe and Mail is reporting that FinTRAC, the federal agency that enforces anti-money laundering laws, has found dozens of Vancouver-area real estate firms are failing to comply with the rules.
It checked 80 brokerage firms in the past year and found “significant” or “very significant” deficiencies, including some real estate agents neglecting to get proper identification from clients, such as drivers’ licences or passports.
FinTRAC spokesperson Darren Gibb tells Globe reporter Kathy Tomlinson the real estate sector is hlghly vulnerable to money laundering, so it is stepping up scrutiny over worries that money, primarily from China, is being laundered through Vancouver real estate.
The Canadian Real Estate Association says it understands there is a problem with compliance, but it blames FinTRAC, saying its training for the industry is “clearly insufficient”.
Tomlinson is the Globe reporter who broke the story about abuses of the assignment clause in real estate deals, the so-called shadow flipping controversy.