A new study called “Just For Show?” by Transparency International (TI), the corruption watchdog, has looked at money laundering and corruption across the G20 countries.
It found that Canada, among most other countries has pretty lax standards when it comes to allowing billions of foreign and illicit funds to filter through our systems. Corrupt foreigners are finding it too easy to launder their dodgy cash here. They do so by buying luxury goods like jewels but most importantly property. It’s thought that the buying of such property with fraudulent funds could be part of the reason people are being out-priced of the cities like Vancouver and Toronto.
The Berlin-based watchdog says some of the countries make it easy for the corrupt to hide their identity and shift money across international borders because of lacking legislation. Canada is one of them.
Despite $2m being laundered each year and the G20 committing to doing more in 2014 to prevent the rich from hiding their money. It seems they have failed to so and money is still being investing through shell companies and nominee directors finding its way to Canada.
The UK is one of the only G20 states that TI claims has made attempts to make it more difficult for the corrupt to hide their cash.
Cobus de Swardt, Transparency International Managing Director said: “The world looks to the G20 for leadership on political, economic and other important issues of the day. To avoid looking little more than a talk shop, they must keep their promises – including on tackling corruption.”
While the US and China are amongst the worst performers, Canada sits beside them in the ‘weak framework’ category and still fails to let people get away with it.
TI says G20 governments need to ‘tighten up their oversight on companies, banks and the people who help the corrupt to enjoy lavish lifestyles at the expense of their own citizens.’
If the country made the changes suggested by TI, Canadians could determine whether there’s hard evidence to prove that foreign money launderers are buying up the sought after homes in Vancouver and Toronto.
Determining this could shed light on the housing market and tackling this problem may mean making these big cities a little more affordable for Canadian residents and more work for Canadian based mortgage brokers.
"Governments need to supply the tools to make it easier for banks, accountants, lawyers and other businesses to stop corrupt customers. This means creating a central, public register containing beneficial ownership information, it’s that simple