On September 30, 2013, the Financial Transactions and Reports
Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) announced revised criteria for
determining whether it will publicly name a reporting entity that
has been the subject of an administrative monetary penalty (AMP)
for contravening the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and
Terrorist Financing Act (PC Act) and associated
AMPs were introduced in December 2008 as an alternative to
criminal sanctions and are imposed by FINTRAC for various
violations of the PC Act. The amount of AMPs varies depending on
the nature of the violation: minor violations carry a penalty of up
to C$1,000 per violation, serious violations can result in an AMP
of up to C$100,000 per violation and very serious violations can
carry a penalty of up to C$500,000 per violation. The level of
seriousness of each violation is determined in accordance with the
Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations made under the PC
Act. In determining the appropriate amount of the penalty, the
legislation also requires FINTRAC to consider the harm caused by
the violation, the compliance history of the reporting entity that
committed the violation, and the size of the reporting entity based
on the number of its employees. Unlike the criminal sanctions
available under the PC Act, AMPs are aimed at encouraging
compliance with the legislation rather than punishing for a
FINTRAC considers publication of AMPs an important component of
its compliance regime and has in the past issued public notices
naming the reporting entities against which AMPs were issued. In
announcing the new criteria for issuing such public notices, the
Director of FINTRAC, Mr. Gérard Cossette, noted that FINTRAC
will be fair in imposing penalties and naming businesses but added
that "FINTRAC will also be firm and public with our
According to the new criteria adopted by FINTRAC, a reporting
entity that is subject to an AMP will be publicly named if
one of the following criteria is met:
The reporting entity has committed a very serious violation,
The base penalty amount is equal to or greater than C$250,000,
before adjustments are made in consideration of the reporting
entity's compliance history and ability to pay, or
Repeat significant non-compliance on the part of the reporting
The Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations designate only
two violations as very serious: (1) failure to include the
information required by the legislation when sending a suspicious
transaction report to FINTRAC, and (2) failure to send a terrorist
property report to FINTRAC with the required information without
FINTRAC will publish the name of the reporting entity that
committed the violation, the business sector in which the entity
operates, the nature of the violation, the city where the business
is located, and the penalty amount imposed.
The reporting entities that are subject to the PC Act, including
financial institutions, life insurance companies, securities
dealers, money services businesses, real estate brokers and others,
will need to be mindful of the reputational risk that a public
notice of an AMP imposed by FINTRAC will have on their
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