Starting next month, British Columbia will have a single financial sector regulator, as the B.C. Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) adds real estate to its remit.
The BCFSA will absorb the province’s two real estate sector regulators, the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate and the Real Estate Council of British Columbia, effective Aug. 1.
In becoming the province’s single regulator, the BCFSA will add several responsibilities, including overseeing the education and discipline of real estate licensees, to its mandate, which already includes regulating credit unions, trust companies, pension plans, insurance companies and mortgage brokers. It also administers the province’s deposit insurance program.
The move to integrate oversight of the real estate sector follows a long-running effort to combat money laundering in the province.
In 2018 a review recommended creating a single regulator to streamline and clarify regulatory responsibilities, and to address concerns that the existing system could expose the real estate market to abuse.
“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, B.C.’s finance minister, in a release.
“This is good news for B.C. — not only for those who will be regulated by BCFSA, but also for all of us who will be buying or selling a house, borrowing money from a credit union, purchasing insurance and relying on pension income in our retirement years,” said Blair Morrison, CEO of the BCFSA, in the release.