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Anti-Money Laundering

Anti-Money Laundering
Anti-Money Laundering
Expertise / Practices / Financial Services Regulatory / Anti-Money Laundering

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 jewelry 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 business 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 business 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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Awards & Recognition

Blakes Financial Services Regulatory lawyers have been recognized as leaders in the most recent editions of the following publications:

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business

  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada

  • Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada

  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial and Corporate Law Firms

  • Who's Who Legal: Banking

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada

  • Euromoney’s LMG Banking, Finance and Transactional Expert Guide

  • Euromoney’s LMG Women in Business Law Expert Guide

  • The Legal 500 Canada

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada