Ottawa, February 15th, 2008
2008-014

Archived - Minister of Finance Opens Egmont Secretariat Headquarters in Toronto

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today officially opened the permanent headquarters of the secretariat of the Egmont Group. The Egmont Group is an organization of 106 of the world's financial intelligence units, including the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

"With the opening of this office, we are entering a new era in the global fight against financial crime," said Minister Flaherty. "This new permanent home will support the Egmont Group in its work to shut down money-laundering operations and starve criminals of the funds necessary to finance their destructive aims: drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorist activity."

The Government of Canada is demonstrating leadership in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing by:

  • Announcing $64 million in additional funding over two years for FINTRAC, the RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Department of Justice.
  • Amending the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act to ensure Canada continues to be a global leader in combatting organized crime and terrorist financing.
  • Introducing new reporting, client identification, record-keeping and compliance requirements, and bringing new sectors such as the legal profession and dealers in precious metals and stones under Canada's regime.
  • Concluding a successful presidency of the Financial Action Task Force in 2007, including welcoming the People's Republic of China as a member.

"Our government is doing what must be done to protect the interests of Canadians and ensure a safe and strong market for investors here and around the world," said Minister Flaherty. "We will be relentless in our efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing."

Minister Flaherty confirmed that Canada is providing $5 million over five years to support the Egmont Group's secretariat. The purpose of the Egmont Group is to enhance cooperation and information exchange to help combat global money laundering and terrorist financing.

"This marks an important milestone in our efforts to keep our families and communities safe by tackling all types of crimes," said the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety. "Together with the Egmont Group and other partners, we are making progress in the fight against organized crime, terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering."

Additional measures taken by Canada in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing are attached.

_______________________________________
For further information, media may contact:

Chisholm Pothier
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
613-996-7861
David Gamble
Media Relations
Department of Finance
613-996-8080

If you would like to receive automatic e-mail notification of all news releases, please visit the Department of Finance website at http://www.fin.gc.ca/scripts/register-eng.asp


Backgrounder

Archived information

Archived information is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Since February 2006, the Government has taken significant action to improve Canada's anti-money-laundering and anti-terrorist-financing regime.

Client Due Diligence and Reporting Requirements

  • Client identification whenever a suspicious transaction is conducted.
  • Re-identification where there are doubts about previously obtained client information.
  • Expanded customer due diligence requirements for accountants and realtors.
  • Expanded client identification measures for non-face-to-face transactions.
  • Obtain information on beneficial owners.
  • Meaningful information on the originator must be included with electronic funds transfers of $1,000 or more.
  • Customer due diligence requirements in foreign branches and subsidiaries in non-Financial Action Task Force countries.

Risk-Based Customer Due Diligence

  • Risk assessments of businesses and clients are a new element of the compliance program.
  • A risk-based approach is being used for transaction monitoring and keeping client information up-to-date.
  • Enhanced customer due diligence must be undertaken for clients that are politically exposed foreign persons and for correspondent banking relationships.

Prohibitions

  • Prohibition on entering into correspondent banking relationships with shell banks.
  • Prohibition on opening accounts where the identity of the client cannot be established.

Suspicious Transaction Reporting

  • The suspicious transaction reporting requirement has been extended to include suspicious attempted transactions.

Money Services Businesses

  • Money services businesses are required to register with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

New Sectors

  • The legal profession (client identification, record-keeping and internal compliance).
  • Dealers in precious metals and stones, British Columbia notaries and real estate developers.

Enforcement Measures

  • An administrative monetary penalties scheme will allow FINTRAC to levy penalties proportionate to instances of non-compliance with the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.

Information Sharing

  • The information FINTRAC can disclose has been expanded, and additional domestic agencies can receive disclosures.
  • Enhanced information-sharing capabilities between FINTRAC, the Canada Revenue Agency and law enforcement regarding charities.
  • Improved international information sharing on compliance issues and cross-border currency reporting.