Remarks by Superintendent Julie Dickson Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI) to the OSFI AML/ATF Conference

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1 Remarks by Superintendent Julie Dickson Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI) to the OSFI AML/ATF Conference Toronto, Ontario Wednesday, May 7, 2008 CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY For additional information contact: Jason LaMontagne Communications and Public Affairs

2 Remarks by Superintendent Julie Dickson, Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI) to the OSFI AML/ATF Conference Toronto, Ontario May 7, 2008 Introduction Thank you for coming here today and attending what we at OSFI see as an important part of our outreach to the financial sector on anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism funding (AML/ATF). I am glad that so many of you could attend and hear a message of such great importance to financial regulators, law enforcement officials, and financial institutions. There have been quite a few developments in the past year, and today s Information Session gives us an opportunity to focus on some of the changes and clarify our expectations on the AML/ATF front. Canada is a country with a reputation for having a very strong financial system. It is clear that to keep that reputation, we must do all we can, and take all the steps necessary, to deter criminal elements that may seek to use the Canadian financial system to their own ends. As part of our mandate to contribute to the safety and soundness of the Canadian financial system, OSFI, along with our regulatory counterparts around the world, is focused on the need to deter and detect money laundering and terrorist financing with efficiency and effectiveness. FATF Report AML/ATF issues continue to rank as high priorities for OSFI. In March of this year, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released a report on Canada s AML/ATF regime. While the report indicated there were still a few areas in which Canada needs to continue its efforts, many of the gaps identified had already been addressed through legislative changes that came into effect after the FATF had performed its assessment. OSFI touched on this in our Report on Plans and Priorities recently delivered to Parliament and available on our external website. The FATF evaluation also looked specifically at OSFI s role in the Canadian AML/ATF regime, and OSFI is pleased with the results of that review. For example, the Mutual Evaluation Report singled out OSFI s supervisory AML/ATF 1

3 coverage and noted that the banking and federally regulated trust companies sectors have a good supervisory coverage by OSFI. Overall, Canada was rated as Largely Compliant with FATF Recommendation 29, which requires supervisors to have adequate monitoring, inspection, and access to the financial sector, as well as adequate powers of enforcement and sanction. While the FATF report comments that our record of assessment coverage by sector is good, it also noted the need for more assessment work in the life insurance sector. To address this, and also to ensure we stay on the leading edge of methodology and emerging risks, we recently increased the resources to our core assessment program at OSFI. We will continue to work closely with FINTRAC in sharing the results of our AML assessment work. The close working relationship between our two agencies has resulted in effective information sharing, which in turn strengthens the effectiveness of both organizations. Legislative Changes As mentioned, major legislative changes have been made to the Canadian AML regime by Parliament in the passing of Bill C-25 into law in December Many of these changes will come into effect next month (June 2008). Among the most important changes being introduced by C-25 are: A requirement to identify suspicious attempted transactions; A requirement to identify high-risk situations and put appropriate enhanced monitoring processes in place; A requirement to identify politically exposed foreign persons 1 and apply certain enhanced monitoring processes to their accounts and activities; and A requirement to identify, at a minimum, persons who own or control, directly or indirectly, 25% or more of customers that are corporate entities. Many of the new requirements allow financial institutions some flexibility in how they are implemented, and that is why this information session is focussed on a risk-based approach to implementation. 1 A politically exposed foreign person (PEFP) is an individual who holds or has ever held certain state, military or judicial offices or positions in or on behalf of a foreign country; the definition includes certain family members of such persons. 2

4 Following the passage of Bill C-25 and the various implementing regulations, OSFI communicated to industry our expectation that all federally regulated financial institutions should begin work to ensure that they will be in compliance with the new regulatory requirements when they come into effect. That time is now upon us. Unfortunately, we have not seen a concerted effort by all institutions to be in compliance. While some institutions saw the need to plan for the changes, and have taken the appropriate steps, other institutions are lagging in some areas, or the plans we have seen appear to be inadequate and ineffective. We have had to underline the need for these institutions to apply adequate resources, controls and procedures to ensure compliance can be achieved. Guidance Later this year, we expect to begin consultations with industry on a revised Guideline, which will take into account our accumulated experience from our AML compliance efforts gained since 2004, the results of the FATF Mutual Evaluation Report, and Bill C-25. As you know, FINTRAC also issues AML guidance for compliance with the legislation and regulations. OSFI s guidance will be more focussed on risk management and the need for adequate risk assessments and mitigation. Assessment Framework OSFI has formalized an AML/ATF assessment framework, which will guide our approach to risk and the rollout of our assessment program going forward. Like other financial regulators, we focus on the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing by profiling financial institutions customer, product and geographical mix. At a high level, the AML/ATF assessment framework will ensure that all financial institutions subject to AML requirements are assessed on a regular basis, consistent with OSFI's risk- based approach to supervision and the provisions of the MOU with FINTRAC. The content and amount of OSFI work involved at financial institutions will not change significantly. OSFI is committed to continuing and improving our AML assessment program. We will continue to work with industry associations and our government partners to help strengthen Canada's fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. We count on you to do your part as well. 3

5 Closing It has been said there is nothing more important in the financial services industry than reputation. This holds true for individual institutions, government regulators, and a country s overall financial system. Working together, we can help to ensure that Canadians will continue to have confidence in a safe and sound Canadian financial system. Thank you. 4

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