RBC handed $7.4M penalty from financial intelligence agency

Canada’s financial intelligence agency has levied a $7.4-million penalty against the Royal Bank of Canada for non-compliance with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing measures.

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada says the violations include failing to submit suspicious transaction reports where there were reasonable grounds to suspect ties to a money laundering offence.

The agency, known as Fintrac, tries to pinpoint money linked to illicit activities by electronically sifting millions of pieces of information each year from banks, insurance companies, money services businesses and others.

“We chose not to appeal but believe the fine is not at all commensurate with an administrative matter where there is no connection to money laundering or terrorist financing offences,” RBC told CBC News in a statement.

“Equally important, there is no finding that anyone exercised judgment in bad faith or knowingly contributed to violations.”

It then discloses intelligence to police and other law-enforcement agencies about the suspected cases.

Fintrac director Sarah Paquet said in a recent speech that the agency’s priority is to work with businesses to help them comply with their reporting obligations.

But she clearly flagged that some were falling behind and that Fintrac would take appropriate action when needed.

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