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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

The Money Services Business Act (BC) (MSBA) passed its third reading on April 26, 2023 and received Royal Assent on May 11, 2023. The MSBA establishes a registration regime for Money Services Businesses (“MSBs”) operating within BC, and supplements the existing obligations of MSBs under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (“PCMLTFA”).

Under the MSBA, “Money Services” refers to: “(a) foreign exchange dealing, (b) remitting funds or transmitting funds, (c) issuing or redeeming money orders, traveller’s cheques or other negotiable instruments, and (d) other services included by regulation”.

Highlights of the key provisions include:

  • Appointment of a Superintendent of MSBs and maintenance of a Public Register

  • Obligation to register as a MSB except where exemptions apply

  • Obligation to report in writing any of the changes listed in the Act

  • Obligation to provide to the Regulator an annual report on the registrant’s activities

The MSBA has yet to become law; afterward, BC market participants shall await the introduction of the relevant regulations to have more clarity on how the MSBA will impact their activities.

At the federal level, MSBs are already regulated by the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) that are currently under review and will strengthen the requirements applicable to MSBs. The amended rules propose to enhance the MSB registration framework by requiring the submission of the telephone numbers and email addresses of the MSB’s chief executive officer, president, directors and every person who owns or controls, directly or indirectly, 20% or more of the MSB; as well as the number of the MSB’s agents, mandataries and branches in each country.

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