Record keeping requirements for life insurance companies, brokers and agents


March 2021

This guidance comes into effect on June 1, 2021.

Life insurance companies, brokers and agents have record keeping requirements under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) and associated Regulations.

If you are a life insurance company, or an entity that is a broker or agent that offers loans or prepaid payment products (PPPs), and that maintains accounts in respect of those activities, you are considered to be a financial entity (FE).Footnote 1 You can find your record keeping obligations as an FE in FINTRAC's Record keeping requirements for financial entities guidance.

This guidance does not apply to life insurance brokers or agents when they are acting as managing general agents.Footnote 2

This guidance outlines certain record keeping requirements for life insurance companies, brokers and agents. 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 (VC) Transaction reports
  2. Large cash transaction records
  3. Large virtual currency (VC) transaction records
  4. Information 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.Footnote 3

Suspicious Transaction Reports

When you submit a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) to FINTRAC, you must keep a copy of it.Footnote 4

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

Terrorist Property reports

When you submit a Terrorist Property Report (TPR) to FINTRAC, you must keep a copy of it.Footnote 6

Retention: At least five years after the day the TPR was submitted.Footnote 7

Large Cash Transaction Reports

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

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

Large Virtual Currency Transaction Reports

When you submit a Large VC Transaction Report (LVCTR) to FINTRAC, you must keep a copy of it.Footnote 10

Retention: At least five years from the date the LVCTR was created.Footnote 11

b. Large cash transaction records

You must keep a large cash transaction record when you receive $10,000 or more in cash.Footnote 12

If you authorize a person or 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 13

**Note: This requirement is subject to the 24-hour rule.Footnote 14

A large cash transaction record must include:Footnote 15

Retention: At least five years from the date the large cash transaction record was created.Footnote 16

c. Large VC transaction records

You must keep a large VC transaction record when you receive VC in an amount equivalent to $10,000 or more.Footnote 17

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 18

**Note: This requirement is subject to the 24-hour rule.Footnote 19

A large VC transaction record must include:Footnote 20

Retention: At least five years from the date the large VC transaction record was created.Footnote 21

d. Information records

An information record must include:Footnote 22

You must keep an information record in connection with the sale of an immediate or deferred annuity, or a life insurance policy:Footnote 23

  1. a) for which you are to receive $10,000 or more over the duration of the annuity or policy; or
  2. b) under which you are to remit $10,000 or more to a beneficiary over the duration of the annuity or policy.

The information record in connection with the sale referred to in bullet (a) (above) must be created when the life insurance company or life insurance broker or agent establishes the annuity or policy, and must be kept in respect of the annuitant or policy holder.Footnote 24 In the case of a group life insurance policy or group annuity, the information record must be kept for the applicant.Footnote 25

The information record in connection with the sale referred to in bullet (b) (above) must be created before the life insurance company or life insurance broker or agent first remits funds or VC to the beneficiary under the annuity or policy, and must be kept in respect of the beneficiary.Footnote 26 You do not have to create the information record within this time period if, due to facts or circumstances beyond your control, you are unable to create the information record before you are required under federal or provincial legislation to first remit funds to a beneficiary. However, the information record must still be created and completed.Footnote 27

If the client 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 28 This could be found in, for example:

Retention: You must keep an information record for five years from the day the last business transaction was conducted.Footnote 29

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 30 These 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 readily be produced.Footnote 31

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.Footnote 32 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 and associated Regulations. For example, a federal or provincial regulator may require you to keep records or information similar to that which is described in this guidance. If this is the case, you must still meet the requirements of the PCMLTFA and associated Regulations. For example, the retention period for your records can be longer than what is described in this guidance, but it cannot be shorter.

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

You are not required to keep the records identified in this guidance if you are a life insurance company, life insurance broker or agent that is dealing in reinsurance.Footnote 33

Also, 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 34

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 are not required to keep a large cash transaction record or a large VC transaction record if the cash or VC is received from a client that is a financial entity (FE) or a public body, or from a person who is acting on behalf of a client that is an FE or public body.Footnote 35

You are not required to keep an information record for:Footnote 36

Large cash transactions

You are not required to keep a large cash transaction record if the transaction involves:Footnote 37

Virtual currency

When you receive VC as compensation for the validation of a transaction that is recorded in a distributed ledger or you receive a nominal amount of VC for the sole purpose of validating another transaction or a transfer of information, you do not need to keep a large VC transaction record.Footnote 38

Other record keeping exempted activities

You are not required to keep information records for the following activities:Footnote 39

Date Modified: