The 2018 review of FINTRAC’s legislation could be more interesting in years past. Two events that have taken place since the centre’s last review could raise public interest in the review. These two (related) issues are the centre’s administrative monetary penalty (AMP) program, and transparency relating to the naming of non-compliant reporting entities.
Following a May 2016 court ruling, Canadian financial intelligence unit FINTRAC remains unable to levy administrative monetary penalties against non-compliant reporting entities. The main issue appears to be a lack of transparency and clarity in how the fines are calculated. The court has indicated that violating entities cannot effectively challenge the fines due to this lack of clarity. Once the agency completes a review of the program (expected summer 2018), it will resume administering monetary penalties. Companies that have violated FINTRAC’s rules since the 2016 ruling may still be administered penalties once the review of the AMPs program is complete.
This is not the first transparency issue for FINTRAC. The agency was widely criticized in 2017 for failing to name a Canadian bank that had received a CA$1.15 million monetary penalty for lapses in its compliance regime. That bank was later revealed as Manulife Bank. As expected, FINTRAC’s public notices of administrative money penalties do not include any new penalties levied since 2016, and the public page does not name the bank it fined, although it does include details of the types of lapses in its compliance regime that earned Manulife Bank such a significant fine.
Submissions on FINTRAC’s consultation paper close April 30, 2018.