Money Laundering in Real Estate
This engagement was an opportunity for British Columbians to share their concerns about money laundering in the B.C. real estate market, and to offer recommendations to B.C.’s Expert Panel on Money Laundering.
The Expert Panel was tasked with reviewing the real estate sector and looking at how money is laundered through gaps in consumer protections, compliance and enforcement of existing laws, and standards in financial services regulations among other areas. The Expert Panel was asked to provide recommendations on preventing market manipulation and abuse, monitoring and reporting activities of real estate markets and regulators, aligning federal policy and enforcement with B.C.’s regime and improving standards in financial services.
This public engagement and the work being completed by the Expert Panel on Money Laundering is part of government’s Homes for BC: A 30-Point Plan for Housing Affordability in British Columbia that includes measures to stop fraudulent activity that is distorting B.C.’s housing market.
November 9, 2018 to January 31, 2019.
Input leads to action:
The Expert Panel on Money Laundering in Real Estate provided their final report and findings to government, and the report was released on May 9, 2019. In their report, the Expert Panel estimated that more than $7 billion in dirty money was laundered in B.C. in 2018 and about $5 billion of that was laundered through B.C. real estate. The report provided 29 recommendations for change to protect the sector and identified the proposed registry for beneficial owners of land to be the single most important measure that can be taken to combat money laundering in real estate.
On May 15, 2019, the Province announced a public inquiry into money laundering to be chaired by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin F. Cullen.