Combatting Money Laundering in B.C. Real Estate

The Expert Panel on Money Laundering was appointed by the Minister of Finance in September 2018 to review money laundering in the real estate sector after two independent reports revealed that B.C.’s real estate market is vulnerable to criminal activity and market manipulation. The panel’s final report (PDF, 4.7MB) was released in May 2019.

In their review of the sector, the Expert Panel estimated that more than $7 billion in dirty money was laundered in B.C. in 2018, and between $800 million and $5.3 billion was laundered through the real estate market, raising housing prices by an estimated 5%.

The Expert Panel consisted of chair Maureen Maloney, Tsur Somerville and Brigitte Unger, who are leading experts in their respective fields of policy, real estate economics and money laundering. They were tasked with presenting recommendations for change to prevent and deter money laundering in the future.

The Expert Panel was asked to:

  • Consider B.C.’s existing legislative framework and financial oversight:
    • Identify gaps in the B.C. legislation with respect to the impact of foreign investment and money-laundering in B.C. real estate
    • Review the compliance regime, with a focus on integrity of the system and public confidence
    • Evaluate work underway or completed by the provincial government that may address some of these systemic challenges 
  • Review best practices adopted by other jurisdictions
  • Provide recommendations on:
    • Prevention of market manipulation and abuse
    • Monitoring and reporting on activities of real estate market and regulators
    • Aligning federal policy and enforcement with B.C.’s regime
    • Improving standards in financial services

Read the Expert Panel’s final report on combatting money laundering (PDF, 4.7MB).