Record keeping requirements for British Columbia notaries


March 2021

This guidance comes into effect on June 1, 2021.

British Columbia (BC) notary publics and BC notary corporations have record keeping requirements under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) and associated Regulations.

BC notaries public and BC notary corporations have record keeping obligations when they engage in any of the following activities on behalf of any person or entity (other than their employers), or give instructions for the following activities on behalf of any person or entity (other than their employers):Footnote 1

This guidance outlines certain record keeping requirements for BC notaries. You have additional record keeping requirements that are detailed in the following guidance:

This guidance answers the following questions:

  1. What records must I keep and what must they contain?
  2. What are my responsibilities when maintaining records?
  3. What are the exceptions to my record keeping requirements?

**Note: Throughout this guidance, all references to dollar amounts (such as $10,000) are in Canadian dollars.

1. What records must I keep and what must they contain?

You must keep the following records:

  1. Reports — a copy of every report sent to FINTRAC
    • Suspicious Transaction Reports
    • Terrorist Property Reports
    • Large Cash Transaction Reports
    • Large Virtual Currency Transaction Reports
  2. Large cash transaction records
  3. Large virtual currency transaction records
  4. Receipt of funds records

**Note: When you are required to keep records about clients, you should be as descriptive as possible. Being descriptive when recording the nature of the principal business or occupation of a client will help determine whether a transaction or activity is consistent with what would be expected for that client. For example, when the client's occupation is "manager", the record should reflect the area of management, such as "hotel reservations manager" or "retail clothing store manager". When an entity's principal business area is "sales", the record should specify the type of sales, such as "pharmaceutical sales" or "retail sales".

a. Reports—a copy of every report sent to FINTRAC

You must keep a copy of every report that you submit to FINTRAC as a record.

Suspicious Transaction Reports

When you submit a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) to FINTRAC, you must keep a copy of it.Footnote 2

Retention: At least five years after the day the STR was submitted.Footnote 3

Terrorist Property Reports

When you submit a Terrorist Property Report (TPR) to FINTRAC, you must keep a copy of it.Footnote 4

Retention: At least five years after the day the TPR was submitted.Footnote 5

Large Cash Transaction Reports

When you submit a Large Cash Transaction Report (LCTR) to FINTRAC, you must keep a copy of it.Footnote 6

Retention: At least five years from the date LCTR was created.Footnote 7

Large Virtual Currency Transaction Reports

When you submit a Large Virtual Currency Transaction Report (LVCTR) to FINTRAC, you must keep a copy of it.Footnote 8

Retention: At least five years from the date the LVCTR was created.Footnote 9

b. Large cash transaction records

You must keep a large cash transaction record when you receive $10,000 or more in cash.Footnote 10

If you authorize a person or an entity to receive funds on your behalf, and that person or entity receives $10,000 or more in cash in accordance with the authorization, you are deemed to have received the amount when it is received by the person or entity, and you must keep a large cash transaction record.Footnote 11

**Note: This requirement is subject to the 24-hour rule.Footnote 12

A large cash transaction record must include:Footnote 13

Retention: At least five years from the date the large cash transaction record was created.Footnote 14

c. Large virtual currency transaction records

You must keep a large virtual currency (VC) transaction record when you receive VC in an amount equivalent to $10,000 or more.Footnote 15

If you authorize a person or an entity to receive VC on your behalf, and that person or entity receives VC in an amount equivalent to $10,000 or more in accordance with the authorization, you are deemed to have received the VC when it is received by the person or entity, and you must keep a large VC transaction record.Footnote 16

**Note: This requirement is subject to the 24-hour rule.Footnote 17

A large VC transaction record must include:Footnote 18

Retention: At least five years from the date the large VC transaction record was created.Footnote 19

d. Receipt of funds records

When you receive funds (in cash or in another form) of $3,000 or more, you must record:Footnote 20

If the receipt of funds record is in respect of an entity that is a corporation, you must also keep a copy of the part of the official corporate records that contains any provision relating to the power to bind the corporation regarding the transaction.Footnote 21 This could be found in:

Retention: At least five years from the date the receipt of funds record was created.Footnote 22

2. What are my responsibilities when maintaining records?

In order to comply with your record keeping requirements, you must keep records in such a manner that they can be provided to FINTRAC within 30 days of a request.Footnote 23 The records may also be requested through a judicial order by law enforcement to support an investigation of money laundering or terrorist activity financing. A record (or a copy) may be kept in a machine-readable or electronic form, so long as a paper copy can easily be produced.Footnote 24

Employees who keep records for you are not required to keep them after their employment ends. The same is true for persons in a contractual relationship with you, when the contractual relationship ends, they no longer have to keep records for you.Footnote 25 You have to obtain and keep the records that were kept for you by an employee or a contractor before the end of the person's employment or contract.

There may be situations where you are required to keep records for purposes other than complying with your obligations under the PCMLTFA. For example, a federal or provincial regulator may require you to keep records in addition to those described in this guidance. If this is the case, you must still meet the requirements described in this guidance. For example, the retention period for your records can be longer than what is described, but it cannot be shorter.

3. What are the exceptions to my record keeping requirements?

If you are required to keep a record with information that is readily available in other records, you do not have to record the information again.Footnote 26

For example, when you keep a copy of a large cash transaction report (LCTR) you may choose to use this as your large cash transaction record for the same transaction, so long as all of the information that would otherwise be kept in the large cash transaction record is captured within the report. Any requirement related to keeping the large cash transaction record would still apply, such as verifying identity.

Financial entities, public bodies and very large corporations or trusts

You do not have to keep a large cash transaction record or a large VC transaction record if the cash or VC was received from a client that is a financial entity (FE) or a public body, or a person who is acting on behalf of a client that is an FE or public body.Footnote 27

You do not have to keep a receipt of funds record for:Footnote 28

Virtual currency

When you receive VC as compensation for the validation of a transaction that is recorded in a distributed ledger or when you receive a nominal amount of VC for the sole purpose of validating a different transaction or a transfer of information, you do not need to keep a large VC transaction record.Footnote 29

Date Modified: