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Ottawa's secret report on money-laundering points finger at Canada's banks
The report tabled in Parliament calls banks good citizens. The internal report tells a different story.
Dean Beeby CBC News

An internal report by Ottawa's money-laundering watchdog paints a picture of Canada's banks that's far less flattering than the one presented in a sanitized report it issued for Parliament and the public.

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre, known as Fintrac, released its 2016-2017 annual report through Parliament last November. In it, the organization praises the banking sector for fighting human trafficking in the sex trade.

"Canada's major banks, led by the Bank of Montreal, invited Fintrac and police to work together to target this heinous and often hidden crime by focusing on the money laundering component of the crime," says the upbeat report in reference to Project Protect, which started in 2016.

"Project Protect has shown that the Canadian banking sector now sees itself as a full contributor to Canada's Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Regime."

A confidential annual report described as "not meant for public release" was delivered to Finance Minister Bill Morneau weeks earlier. That report looks at Fintrac's probes of nine banks in 2016-2017.

The Sept. 30 document, obtained by CBC News under the Access to Information Act, found "significant" problems at six of the nine banks including problems in providing Fintrac with suspicious transaction reports, or STRs.

The law requires financial entities to file an STR to Fintrac when a transaction is suspected of being linked to a money-laundering or terrorist activity financing offence, regardless of the dollar amount.

Ottawa's secret report on money-laundering points finger at Canada's banks | CBC News