The Blakes Financial Services group has extensive experience advising all entities subject to Canadian anti-money laundering (AML), anti-terrorist financing and economic sanctions legislation applicable to financial transactions. We act for financial institutions (including domestic and foreign banks, trust companies, loan companies, credit unions, and insurance companies), domestic and foreign money services businesses, foreign exchange businesses, casinos, securities dealers, real estate brokerages and developers, dealers in virtual currencies, accounting firms, merchant acquirers, prepaid card issuers, payment processors, those involved in the jewellery business and others in connection with their compliance with all aspects of this legislation including:

  • Compliance with the requirements of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering), Terrorist Financing Act, Guideline B-8 issued by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Rule 1300 and the Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Guideline of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, the Quebec Money-Services Business Act and gaming control legislation across Canada as it relates to AML requirements
  • Compliance with Canada’s economic sanctions legislation, including the United Nations Act, the Special Economic Measures Act, the Freezing Assets of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, and the Criminal Code, with respect to all aspects of the legislative requirements, including screening against Canadian designated lists, reporting to principal financial regulators and law enforcement authorities, sectoral trade restrictions, ongoing compliance and risk mitigation measures
  • Advising with respect to reporting requirements under the legislation, including guidance in interpreting the requirement to report "attempted" suspicious transactions
  • Advising with respect to client identification requirements, know-your-customer requirements, record-keeping requirements, ongoing monitoring reporting requirements and privacy considerations surrounding voluntary reporting
  • Assisting clients in the development of their product and customer-risk categories and their own inherent risk assessments as part of their compliance programs
  • Drafting client AML compliance programs and updating applicable compliance elements, policies, practices and procedures, in addition to designing and delivering in-house training programs, consistent with legislative and regulatory requirements
  • Assisting clients with operational adjustments to comply with AML requirements
  • Registering clients as money services businesses under the federal and Quebec registration regime
  • Advising on the intricate requirements of the legislation with respect to politically exposed persons and beneficial owners
  • Providing AML advice specific to existing products and new product initiatives
  • Advising on compliance procedures surrounding unique businesses lines, including wealth management, private banking and merchant acquiring
  • Advising clients on what to expect and how to prepare for compliance audits
  • Providing compliance opinions on the requirements of the provisions of the legislation
  • Liaising with regulators to discuss and review issues on behalf of clients and challenging adverse regulatory findings 

From a regulatory perspective, we have the largest and most active financial institution regulatory practice in Canada, allowing us to effectively advise clients on the current regulatory framework, as well as on any draft legislation and regulatory proposals that may affect them. Clients benefit from our ability to offer advice specific to existing products as well as new product initiatives and our familiarity with compliance procedures surrounding unique businesses lines. When questions of regulatory violations arise, our lawyers are there to advise as well as assist clients in preparing for and responding to audits and investigations.



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Counsel | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3858
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services Regulatory, Anti-Money Laundering, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Banking, Financial Services, Consumer Protection, Fintech, Cannabis
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2956
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services Regulatory, Banking, Insurance, Reinsurance, Anti-Money Laundering, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Payment Cards & Technologies, Residential Mortgage Business, Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Lobbying, Cybersecurity, Government & Public Sector, Credit Unions
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-4220
Areas of Expertise: Anti-Money Laundering, Constitutional & Charter of Rights, Construction, Corporate Litigation, Energy, Environmental, International Trade, Media & Defamation, Mining, Mining Lending, Mining Streaming & Royalties, Mining Litigation & Dispute Resolution, LNG, Aboriginal, Government & Public Sector
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9726
Areas of Expertise: Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Anti-Corruption & Bribery, Corporate Litigation, Class Actions, Competition Litigation, Securities Litigation, Government & Public Sector, Anti-Money Laundering
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4154
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services, Financial Services Regulatory, Banking, Anti-Money Laundering, Payment Cards & Technologies, Debt Finance & Lending, Insurance, Reinsurance, Payment Cards & Technologies, Sanctions & Export Controls, Capital Markets, Credit Unions
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3290
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services Regulatory, Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Banking, Anti-Money Laundering, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Payment Cards & Technologies, Financial Services, Fintech, Credit Unions, Consumer Protection
Senior Counsel | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3361
Areas of Expertise: Debt Finance & Lending, Project Finance, Banking, Mining, Anti-Money Laundering, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Residential Mortgage Business, Asset-Based Finance, Mining Lending, Mining Streaming & Royalties
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