On August 20, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) issued updated guidance on the means that can be used to determine beneficial ownership of entities. Previously, FINTRAC took the position that although various means could be used to obtain beneficial ownership information, only official documentation could be relied upon to confirm the accuracy of the information obtained. The new guidance indicates that, once beneficial ownership information is obtained, various reasonable measures may now be used to confirm the accuracy of that information.

FINTRAC’s guidance emphasizes that what constitutes reasonable measures will depend on the circumstances. For example, the measures used must be in line with the assessed risk of a money laundering or terrorist financing offence for the entity, as well as taking into account the complexity of the entity whose beneficial ownership is being determined. The measures are discussed in more detail here.