What is FINTRAC?

What is FINTRAC?

FINTRAC stands for the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada and is a financial intelligence unit (FIU) of the Government of Canada. The agency is responsible for facilitating the detection, prevention, and deterrence of money laundering, terrorist activity financing, and other threats to Canadian security.

With headquarters in Ottawa, and regional offices in Montréal, Toronto, and Vancouver, the agency was established by and operates within the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) and its Regulations. FINTRAC is one of many domestic partners in Canada’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing (AML/ATF) unit which is led by the Department of Finance.

“FINTRAC acts at arm’s length and is independent of the police services, law enforcement agencies and other entities to which it is authorized to disclose financial intelligence”, reporting to the Minister of Finance who is accountable to disclose to Parliament the center’s activities.

Some of FINTRAC’s responsibilities include:

  • Receiving financial transaction reports and voluntary information that follows legislation and regulation
  • Protecting personal information
  • Ensuring compliance of reporting entities
  • Maintaining a registry of money services businesses in Canada
  • Producing financial intelligence relating to investigations of money laundering, terrorist activity financing, and threats to Canadian security
  • Researching analyzing data that highlights trends and patterns in money laundering, terrorist activity financing, and threats to Canadian security
  • Enhancing public awareness of understanding about money laundering, terrorist activity financing, and threats to Canadian security

FINTRAC also contributes to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), and the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), while assisting other FIU’s through participating in international policymaking and the provision of technical assistance.

Nada Semaan the Director and Chief Executive Officer at FINTRAC has been working with the center to develop a dynamic 5-year plan that will highlight the development of key strategies to guide activities, including international engagement, communications, recruitment, and talent management.

She says that “over the next five years, this plan will guide us as we strengthen our operational effectiveness and renew our dedication to being a trusted leader in financial intelligence.”

“This dynamic plan is the product of our many discussions where we debated ideas, defined our collective ambitions, and ultimately set our collective commitments” Semaan adds.

FINTRAC’s vision is to keep the Canadian’s safe and secure the economy through collaboration and accountability.

There are six priorities FINTRAC focuses on:

  • Maximizing the potential of our people
  • Ensuring transparency through results and performance
  • Modernizing the workplace
  • Exploring and innovating solutions
  • Cultivating strategic relationships with key external stakeholders
  • Strengthening cross-government cooperation

FINTRAC’s financial intelligence is valued globally, the agency is asked to lead international conferences and workshops regularly due to its specialized intelligence and supervisory expertise. The center hopes to facilitate an agile, ethical workforce that collaborates on providing the necessary information and analysis to domestic and international partners about money laundering, terrorist activity financing, and threats to Canadian security.

By Surina Nath