April 15, 2016
Last week Canada’s anti-money laundering agency, FINTRAC, fined an undisclosed bank $1.1 million for failure to report suspicious activity, marking the first time a bank has been penalized by the agency. FINTRAC’s decision not to disclose the name of the bank has drawn speculation among compliance experts about the potential impact of this lack of disclosure on the wider compliance regime. Torys counsel Peter Aziz, who advises on all aspects of regulatory compliance in the financial services, was sought by PaymentsCompliance for his comments on the decision. Below is an excerpt of the article.
Peter Aziz, counsel specialising in finance at the Canadian law firm Torys, told PaymentsCompliance that if an appeal was ongoing the bank “would be entitled to anonymity” until its outcome.
“I think it important for FINTRAC to retain its discretion to decide whether or not name the fined bank,” he added.
“A bank may comply substantially with the relevant legislation and the instance of non-compliance may be minor.
“In such an instance, naming a bank may suggest that compliance deficiencies are greater than they are.”
To read a PDF of the article, click here.