Anti-Money Laundering (AML) in Canada

AML Country Guide / Anti-Money Laundering (AML) in Canada

Money laundering poses major threats to Canada's security and financial system. Money laundering is a complex and confidential structure. Canada aims to prevent financial crimes with anti-money laundering regimes from past to present. 

Anti-Money Laundering Laws and Regulations in Canada 

Canada has two primary laws for preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. The Criminal Code and the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) play an active role in Canada's AML regime. The Criminal Code's obligations cover all individuals and businesses. The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) include the institutions under obligation. These businesses combat money laundering and related crimes by closely collaborating with government partners in public-private partnerships. Financial institutions, credit companies, insurance companies, casinos, and real estate brokers in Canada must comply with these AML laws. 

Some obligations of these organizations in accordance with PCMLTA are as follows:

In Canada, people who do not comply with AML laws are subject to heavy fines and prison sentences under the Criminal Code and Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA). According to criminal charges under the PCMLTFA that are set out in Part 5 of the PCMLTFA, fines can reach up to $2,000,000 and 5 years of imprisonment. 

Internationally, Canada collaborates with global organizations and allies to address evolving security threats related to money laundering and terrorist financing. To address security threats, the regime must consistently adjust to shifts in its operating environment. 

To adapt to these changing regulations and address identified deficiencies, the Regime Strategy outlines the Government of Canada's roadmap for combatting money laundering and terrorist financing from 2023 to 2026. These key actions are organized into four main areas: 

  • Enhancing operational efficiency. 
  • Addressing gaps in legislation and regulations. 
  • Improving Regime governance and coordination. 
  • Contributing to global efforts in combating money laundering and terrorist financing. 

The Strategy is designed to complement the 2023 Parliamentary Review of the PCMLTFA, which will delve deeper into how Canada's AML/ATF Regime can effectively respond to evolving threats in the ML/TF and further advance these strategic priorities. This collaborative approach aims to bolster the nation's resilience against financial crimes and maintain its commitment to international efforts in this critical domain. 

7 Elements of an Effective AML/CFT Compliance Programme

Is Canada an AML Regulated Country

The Canadian AML Regime is a comprehensive framework encompassing federal partners, provincial, regional, and municipal regulatory and law enforcement bodies, along with private sector entities subject to the PCMLTFA and its regulations. FINTRAC is central to these organizations. Canada is considered an AML regulated country. FINTRAC is the regulatory body responsible for administering and enforcing AML laws and regulations in Canada. Financial institutions, money services businesses, and other entities are required to comply with strict AML requirements to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing activities.

What Is the Agency For Money Laundering in Canada

Canada has established The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC) to combat financial crimes effectively. Businesses with AML obligations in Canada have reported suspicious transactions to FINTRAC. FINTRAC analyzes these reports and takes measures. FINTRAC reports to the Canadian Ministry of Finance as an independent organization. FINTRAC has the mandate to regulate and supervise agencies responsible for strengthening AML regimes. FINTRAC represents Canada in the field of international AML and collaborates with other regulators. FINTRAC will collaborate with the industry to enhance and modernize its compliance program within a cost-recovery framework. This partnership will help identify and prioritize ways to improve FINTRAC's supervision approach and eliminate obstacles hindering reporting entities from meeting PCMLTFA requirements. 

Over 2021-2024, FINTRAC's Digital Strategy seeks to leverage emerging digital technologies to enhance business performance, enrich user experiences, and fulfill its mandate more effectively. This Strategy outlines how FINTRAC will strengthen and modernize its information management and technology infrastructure, ultimately delivering greater value in its financial intelligence and compliance functions. 

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Department of Finance Canada, Department of Justice Canada, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC), Public Safety Canada (PS), Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are also among significant organizations. 

Anti-Money Laundering Solutions for Canada 

Money laundering is a serious problem that impacts the global economy and has been a growing concern for financial institutions and governments around the world. In Canada, organizations that have to comply with AML regulations can rely on Sanction Scanner's advanced AI-driven AML solutions to mitigate the risks associated with financial crimes. Sanction Scanner helps organizations meet their AML obligations with AI-driven AML solutions. Choose Sanction Scanner to get a step ahead in AML compliance endeavors and financial integrity. Contact us or request a demo to experience the future of AML compliance today! 

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