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FINTRAC Annual Report 2019–20


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FINTRAC’s 2019–20 Annual Report


As we mark FINTRAC’s 20th anniversary this year, I am pleased to share with you our 2019–20 Annual Report, which was tabled in Parliament by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland. The report highlights the results that we achieved in 2019–20, as well as some of the key contributions that the Centre has made throughout its history, as part of Canada’s broader Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Regime.


The COVID-19 global pandemic that erupted earlier this year has had a significant impact on FINTRAC’s operations, just as it has had on Canadians across the country and many others around the world. Our thoughts are with those who have suffered health or economic difficulties as a result of this disease, and even more so with those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19.


Throughout this crisis, FINTRAC has continued to receive and analyze vital financial transaction reporting, and to provide actionable financial intelligence in support of the investigations of Canada’s police, law enforcement and national security agencies. Our financial intelligence is more important than ever as criminals and terrorists have looked to take advantage of the pandemic to enrich themselves and advance their illicit enterprises.


During the 2019–20 reporting period, we provided 2,057 unique disclosures of actionable financial intelligence in support of investigations related to money laundering, terrorist activity financing and threats to the security of Canada. Between October 2001, when it became operational, and the end of March 2020,  FINTRAC provided approximately 19,000 financial intelligence disclosures to Canada’s police, law enforcement and national security agencies, with the number of our disclosures increasing by nearly 25% over the past five years. FINTRAC’s financial intelligence disclosures have since increased to more than 20,000.


Canada’s police, law enforcement and national security agencies are seeking our financial intelligence in record numbers. FINTRAC received 2,519 voluntary information records from these agencies in 2019–20, increasing in number by more than 55% over the past five years. These records contain information on alleged criminals and terrorist financiers and are often the starting point for our analysis and the financial intelligence that we are able to generate and disclose.


FINTRAC also works with its Government of Canada partners to support a number of project-based public-private sector partnerships, which are producing real and meaningful results for Canadians. With Projects Protect, Guardian, Chameleon and Athena, suspicious transaction reporting has increased dramatically as have our financial intelligence disclosures in relation to money laundering linked to human trafficking in the sex trade, romance fraud, the trafficking of illicit fentanyl, and casino-related underground banking. Beyond the numbers, we know these projects are helping to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our society.


The results that we achieve for Canadians would not be possible without the dedicated efforts of businesses across the country. We are committed to working with these businesses to ensure that they understand, and are able to comply with, their legal obligations. We are also committed to engaging them transparently and with an open mind as we look to reduce burden and further strengthen our program. We were very proud to receive an award for Excellence in Regulatory Openness and Transparency from the Community of Federal Regulators last November for our enhanced support of, and engagement with, Canadian businesses.


Over the past two decades, FINTRAC has built a comprehensive, risk-based compliance program that assists thousands of businesses and ensures that they fulfill their obligations under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act and associated Regulations. With the evolution of our compliance program and the support of these businesses, the overall reporting that businesses provide to FINTRAC has increased by more than 32% over the past five years, with suspicious transaction reporting up by 237% in the same period. This reporting is critical to the financial intelligence that we are able to generate for Canada’s police, law enforcement and national security agencies.


Internationally, we continue to make extensive contributions to worldwide efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist activity financing, including providing thousands of financial intelligence disclosures to our foreign counterparts over the past twenty years, contributing to international training and capacity building efforts, and supporting multilateral research and the development of trends analysis and strategic financial intelligence products through the Financial Action Task Force and the Egmont Group.


Ultimately, our people are at the heart of our organization and our success over the past twenty years. FINTRAC staff—past and present—built the Centre from the ground up into an internationally recognized financial intelligence unit and anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regulator, central to Canada’s broader Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Regime and critical to the safety of Canadians and security of Canada’s economy.


Nada Semaan
Director and Chief Executive Officer
Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada


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