BCREA CEO and Chief Economist Participate in Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering

Feb 22, 2021

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Posted by
Shaheed Devji
Senior Communications Specialist

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On February 17, BCREA CEO Darlene Hyde and Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson appeared before the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in BC to represent REALTORS®' boots-on-the-ground perspective into the real estate sector.

The Cullen Commission was created to look into the prevalence of money laundering in BC in a number of sectors, including real estate, and issue recommendations as a result of its findings. In addition to BCREA, other organizations from the real estate sector have participated in the hearings, including the BC Financial Services Authority, the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate, the Real Estate Council of BC and the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association, BC.

Darlene told the commission about how BCREA has supported BC Realtors by equipping them with tools to act with the highest professional standards and help identify and combat money laundering in BC's real estate market. BCREA has increased anti-money laundering training and resources available to resources, including:

  • a new online training program for managing brokers and compliance officers at real estate brokerages to master compliance requirements from FINTRAC,
  • expanding online resources on key anti-money laundering themes like recognizing and reporting suspicious transactions, accurately recording client identification and understanding how Realtors can help identify and stop money laundering, and
  • conducting ongoing social media campaigns to raise awareness of the resources available to Realtors.

In addition, Brendon answered questions from the commission on the B-20 stress test, the Speculation and Vacancy Tax, foreign buyers and the quantification of money laundering in real estate.

"We recognize that the Cullen Commission is an important part of getting to the bottom of money laundering in British Columbia," said Darlene. "On behalf of the province's 23,000 Realtors, we welcomed the opportunity to be a part of these proceedings, representing a boots-on-the-ground perspective into the real estate sector and what Realtors are doing to educate themselves and help identify money laundering."

Where to find more information

For more information about the Cullen Commission and BCREA's involvement, watch the BCREA Community of Practice from February 3, during which BCREA's Vice President of Government Relations and Stakeholder Engagement Trevor Hargreaves and legal counsel Chris Weafer share a background of the commission with managing brokers.

The commission is expected to deliver its final report in the summer of 2021. To watch the session, click here and navigate to the one hour and 33-minute mark of the February 17 video. You can also read a transcript of the session here or access our opening statement from February 2020 here.

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