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In an effort to step up the fight against money laundering, the federal Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) has signed its first information-sharing agreement with a real estate regulator, the Real Estate Council of British Columbia.

On April 9, FINTRAC announced that it has entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Real Estate Council of B.C. (RECBC) that will establish a framework for sharing compliance information between the agencies.

The goal of the agreement is to combat money laundering in B.C.’s real estate sector and to improve the sector’s compliance with anti-money laundering rules.

The agencies also say that the deal will boost their knowledge, and give them insight into sectoral trends, both in B.C. and throughout Canada.

FINTRAC reports that the real estate sector has generated the largest number of compliance exams over the past three years.

“We are pleased to work more closely with the Real Estate Council of British Columbia to ensure compliance in the real estate sector. Together, we will strengthen oversight in the sector, reduce the burden on real estate businesses and help to protect Canadians and Canada’s economy,” said Nada Semaan, director and CEO of FINTRAC, in a statement.

The agreement follows growing concern about the prevalence of money laundering in B.C. Recently, the provincial government received a pair of reports on the issue, focusing on the use of the real estate sector, as well as luxury car and horse racing businesses, as conduits for money laundering.