FINTRAC Update - December 2022
New FINTRAC Resource Documents – Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) Forms
On December 16, 2022, FINTRAC released new draft forms for all reporting entities in advance of upcoming expected changes to the Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) form in 2023. The updated forms reflect legislative amendments that came into force on June 1, 2021 and include added functionality that allows for a more streamlined experience when reporting STRs.
The following draft documents are available on FINTRAC website:
- STR mock form
- Reporting suspicious transactions to FINTRAC guidance
- STR JSON schemas (reports and transactions)
FINTRAC notes however, that this is an early release of the documentation and specific package for the STR reporting rom. The documents are in their final stages of development and are still labeled draft, therefore are subject to minor subsequent changes. The documents are being provided to provide reporting entities with time to made necessary business process and IT system changes that may be needed to accommodate the new forms.
Additional and updated draft documents are expected to be published in early 2023. These updated forms will be posted here as soon as they are available.
For any questions regarding these changes or about your obligations as a reporting entity please contact FINTRAC by telephone at 1-866-346-8722 or by email at F2R@fintrac-canafe.gc.ca
FINTRAC Operational Alert: Terrorist Activity Financing
On December 15, 2022 FINTRAC released its a new Operational Alert on Terrorist Activity Financing. The Alert was developed to assist those subject to the PCMLTFA better identify and report to FINTRAC financial transactions suspected of being related to terrorist activity financing. The Alert outlines indicators to help reporting entities in their analysis and assessment of suspicious financial transactions.
The new Alert can be found here: https://fintrac-canafe.canada.ca/new-neuf/nr/2022-12-15-eng
FINTRAC Update – November 2022
New FINTRAC Resources for Client Identification Verification
FINTRAC recently published a series of videos on methods that can be used to verify the identity of a person or entity.
All CPAs subject to the PCMLTFA and its Regulations must verify their clients’ identities using prescribed methods as party of their “know your client” obligations.
The FINTRAC videos can be found here.
Additional guidance on client verification can be found here.
FINTRAC Update – May 2022
Underground Banking through Unregistered Money Services Businesses - https://fintrac-canafe.canada.ca/intel/advisories-avis/bank-eng
FINTRAC Update – April 2022
Crowdfunding platforms and certain payment service providers must register with FINTRAC and the definition of “EFT” was amended
Amendments to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Regulations (PCMLTFR) and the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Administrative Monetary Penalties (PCMLTFAMP) Regulations have been registered and are now in force.
As a result, crowdfunding platforms and certain payment service providers are now covered as money services businesses (MSBs) or foreign money services businesses (FMSBs) under the PCMLTFA, and have the following obligations:
- Register with FINTRAC
- Develop and maintain a compliance program
- Carry out know your client requirements, including verifying the identity of persons and entities for certain activities and transactions
- Keep certain records, including records related to transactions and client identification
- Report certain transactions to FINTRAC
For more information about these obligations, see information about MSBs and FMSBs.
Electronic funds transfer (EFT) definition amendment
Registered MSBs and FMSBs may be affected by the amended EFT definition, specifically those that remit/transmit funds.
MSBs and FMSBs that carry out transactions by credit/debit cards, which permits the payment of goods and services, now have to comply with EFT obligations, including client identification, reporting and record keeping requirements.
Registering with FINTRAC as an MSB or FMSB
Crowdfunding platforms that provide services to raise funds or virtual currency and certain payment service providers must register as MSBs or FMSBs.
MSBs and FMSBs that are already registered with FINTRAC, and which offer services now subject to the Act, must update their registration information to reflect this.
They will now have obligations relating to these services, including updating their compliance program to reflect this additional service, identifying clients, keeping records and reporting certain types of financial transactions to FINTRAC, including suspicious transactions.
For information on how to register as an MSB/FMSB, please visit the following pages on our website:
FINTRAC Update – March 2022
Special Bulletin – Russian linked money laundering and sanctions evasion
FINTRAC Update – March 2022
Update to the FINTRAC Assessment Manual
FINTRAC has updated the FINTRAC Assessment manual to reflect the recent coming into force of regulatory amendments, and related changes to their examination process. The update it consists primarily of minor language adjustments, additions to existing examination tests, and some new tests. Below is a summary of the changes:
Minor terminology adjustments, additions or changes to align with the PCMLTF Regulations or to reflect amended processes, such as:
- New terms such as “Dealers in precious metals and precious stones”, “Foreign Money Services Business” and “Virtual currency” are added where applicable.
- Part 2 – Examination phases: Changes reflect minor adjustments to processes
– Phase 1 – Planning and scoping
– Phase 2 – Examination and assessment
– Phase 3 – Developing conclusions and finalizing the examination
- Part 3 – Assessment methods: Changes reflect new or amended processes to reflect the PCMLTF Regulations
– Section 3.1 – Compliance program requirements
– Section 3.3.4 – International Electronic Funds Transfer Reports
– Section 3.6 – Foreign branches, foreign subsidiaries and affiliates requirements
New tests or additions to existing tests:
- Section 3.2.2 – Know your client requirements (Beneficial ownership)
- Section 3.3.3 – Large Virtual Currency Transaction Reports
- Section 3.3.4 – International Electronic Funds Transfer Reports
- Section 3.3.6 – Suspicious Transaction Reports
- Section 3.4 – Record keeping requirements
FINTRAC has indicated that they will continue to update the manual to reflect amendments to the PCMLTFA and associated Regulations, and as their process evolves.
If you have questions directly for FINTRAC, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have CPABC related questions, please contact email@example.com
FINTRAC has recently announced that it will be withdrawing a series of temporary supports designed to assist reporting entities experiencing challenging in meeting their obligations due to the impact of public health measures.
Please see FINTRAC’s full notice.
Some of the changes include:
- Effective March 31, 2022, the temporary flexibility extended to reporting entities with respect to authenticating a government-issued photo ID document at a distance will end. This means that reporting entities will be required to use more than human judgement to authenticate government-issued photo ID document when a person is not physically present.
- Effective June 1, 2021, reporting entities that are required to verify the identity of a corporation or an entity other than a corporation are required to refer to a record that is authentic, valid and current.
- As set out in the FINTRAC guidance of April 23, 2020, for any person or entity whose identity was verified using the temporary flexibility provided, reporting entities were expected to:
- keep a record of all clients identified using this temporary method; and
- re-verify the identity of their clients in accordance with the PCMLTFR when the physical distancing measures have been lifted by public health authorities.
If you are a reporting entity that is experiencing pervasive reporting challenges due to the pandemic that are not addressed in this communication, please contact your FINTRAC regional compliance officer or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.