The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (Fintrac) has issued new guidance on beneficial ownership disclosure requirements for entities in Canada.
The latest guidance differs from the guidance on this subject published by Fintrac in June 2017 insofar as official documentation is no longer an absolute requirement for confirming beneficial ownership information.
Canada’s financial intelligence unit previously took the position that while various means could be used to obtain beneficial ownership information, only official documentation could be relied upon to confirm the accuracy of the information obtained.
The new guidance has been updated to reflect Fintrac’s amended position that once beneficial ownership information is obtained, various reasonable measures may now be used to confirm the accuracy of that information.
According to Fintrac, reasonable measures to confirm the accuracy of the information can include referring to official documentation or records. It is also acceptable to have a representative of an entity sign a document to confirm the veracity of beneficial ownership information, as well as ownership, control and structure information obtained.
This means it is possible for one document to be used to satisfy the two distinct steps: obtaining the information and confirming the accuracy of it.
If referring to documents or records, the accuracy of the beneficial ownership, as well as ownership, control and structure information related to a corporation or entity may be confirmed by referring to acceptable records.
Acceptable records include an entity’s minute book, securities register, shareholders register, articles of incorporation, annual returns, certificate of corporate status, shareholder agreements, partnership agreements or board of directors’ meeting records of decisions.
Fintrac’s full guidance on beneficial ownership can be found here.
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