Record keeping requirements for money services businesses and foreign money services businesses

February 2020 

February 2020

This guidance on record keeping is applicable to money services businesses that are subject to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) and associated Regulations.

In order to comply with your record keeping requirements, you are required to keep records in a manner in which they can be provided to FINTRAC within 30 days upon request. 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 easily be produced.

Employees who keep records for you are not required to keep them after the end of their employment with you. The same is true for individuals in a contractual relationship with you, after the end of that contractual relationship. This means that you have to obtain and keep the records that were kept for you by any employee or contractor before the end of that individual's employment or contract with you.

There may be situations where you are required to keep records for purposes other than your requirements under the PCMLTFA. For example, a federal or provincial regulator for your sector 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 explained in this guidance. For example, the retention period for your records can be longer than what is described, but it cannot be shorter.

Please note that as a money services business, you have record keeping requirements in addition to those described in this guidance. These additional requirements are detailed in the following Know your client guidance documents:

As a money services business, you must keep the following records:

  1. Suspicious transaction report records
  2. Large cash transaction records
  3. Records for transactions of $3,000 or more
    1. If you receive $3,000 or more for the issuance of traveller's cheques, money orders or other similar negotiable instruments
    2. If you cash $3,000 or more in money orders
  4. Records of remitting or transmitting funds of $1,000 or more
  5. Foreign currency exchange records
  6. Internal memorandum received or created in the normal course of business
  7. Records about ongoing service agreements
  8. Reasonable measures records

**Note: Exceptions to your record keeping requirements are listed in the last section of this guidance.

**Note: When recording the nature of the principal business or occupation of a client, you must be as descriptive as possible in order to be able to determine whether a transaction or activity is consistent with what would be expected for that client. For example, in the case of a person who is a manager, the occupation recorded should reflect the area of management, such as “hotel reservations manager” or “retail clothing store manager.” The same is true when recording the nature of the principal business of an entity. For example, in the case of an entity in the field of sales, the nature of the principal business should specify the type of sales, such as “pharmaceutical sales” or “retail sales”.

1. Suspicious transaction report records

If you submit a suspicious transaction report (STR) to FINTRAC, you must keep a copy of it. This includes STRs for completed and attempted transactions.

Retention: You must keep an STR for at least five years from the date the report was submitted.

2. Large cash transaction records

You must keep a record of every large cash transaction. A large cash transaction occurs when you receive $10,000 or more in cash from a client in a single transaction. A large cash transaction also occurs when there are multiple cash transactions of less than $10,000 each that total $10,000 or more within a 24-hour period, when you know they are conducted by, or on behalf, of the same individual or entity.

When your client conducts a large cash transaction, your record must indicate the receipt of an amount of $10,000 or more in cash, along with the following:

  • the name, date of birth and address of the individual from whom you received the cash, and the nature of their principal business or occupation;
  • the amount and currency of the cash received;
  • the date of the transaction;
  • the purpose and details of the transaction, including:
    • the type of transaction (for example, the cash was used to purchase a money order, etc.); and
    • whether any other individuals or entities were involved in the transaction;
  • how the cash was received (for example, in person, by mail, by armoured car, or any other way); and
  • if an account was affected by the transaction, include:
    • the account number and type of account;
    • the full name of the account holder; and
    • the currency in which the account's transactions are conducted.

Retention: You must keep large cash transaction records for at least five years from the date the record was created.

3. Records for transactions of $3,000 or more

a. When you receive $3,000 or more for the issuance of traveller's cheques, money orders or other similar negotiable instruments from an individual or entity, you must record:

  • the date it was received;
  • the amount received and whether the amount was received in cash, cheques, traveller’s cheques, money orders or other similar negotiable instruments; and
  • the name, address and date of birth of the individual who gave you the funds.

b. When money orders of $3,000 or more are cashed, you must record:

  • the name, address and date of birth of the individual cashing the money order(s); and
  • the name of the issuer of each money order.

Retention: You must keep a record of transactions of $3,000 or more for at least five years from the date the record was created.

4. Records of remitting or transmitting funds of $1,000 or more

When you remit or transmit $1,000 or more, whether internationally or domestically, you must record:

  • if the client is an individual, their name, address, date of birth, telephone number and the nature of their principal business or their occupation;
  • if the client is an entity, the name, address, date of birth, and telephone number of the individual who requested the transaction on behalf of the entity and the nature of that individual’s principal business or their occupation;
  • the reference number of the transaction;
  • the date of the transaction;
  • the name of the beneficiary of the transaction; and
  • the amount and currency of the transaction.

If you transmit funds as an EFT of any amount at the request of a client, including an EFT sent within Canada that is a SWIFT MT 103 message, you must include originator information.

If you receive an EFT in any amount, including an EFT sent within Canada that is a SWIFT MT 103 message, you must take reasonable measures to ensure that it includes originator information. In this context, reasonable measures could include contacting the institution that sent the payment instructions.

Retention: You must keep a record for the remittance or transmission of $1,000 or more for at least five years from the date the record was created.

5. Foreign currency exchange records

You must keep a transaction ticket for every foreign currency exchange transaction you conduct, regardless of the amount. Each ticket must include:

  • the date, amount, and currency of the purchase or sale;
  • the method, amount, and currency of the payment made or received; and
  • if the transaction was of $3,000 or more, the name, address and date of birth of the individual who carried out the transaction.

Retention: You must keep foreign currency exchange records for at least five years from the date they are created.

6. Internal memorandum received or created in the normal course of business

You must keep a record of every internal memorandum (i.e. any memo, note, message or similar communication) that you create or receive in the normal course of business regarding services you provide to clients.

Retention: You must keep internal memoranda records for at least five years from the date they are created.

7. Records for ongoing service agreements

You have to keep certain records when you enter into either of the following agreements:

  • an ongoing electronic funds transfer, funds remittance or foreign exchange service agreement with an entity; or
  • a service agreement for the issuance or redemption of money orders, traveller's cheques or other negotiable instruments with an entity.

In either of these cases, you have to keep the following records:

  • a record of the name, address, date of birth and occupation of every individual who signed the agreement on behalf of the entity;
  • a list containing the name, address, and date of birth of every employee authorized to order transactions under the agreement;
  • a client information record about the entity, which includes the entity’s name, address and the nature of the entity’s principal business; and
  • if the client information record is about an entity that is a corporation you must keep a copy of the part of the official corporate records that contains any provision relating to the power to bind the corporation regarding transactions with you, if this is obtained in the normal course of business.
    • This could include a certificate of incumbency, the articles of incorporation or the bylaws of the corporation that set out the officers duly authorized to sign on behalf of the corporation, such as the president, treasurer, vice-president, comptroller, etc. If there were changes subsequent to the articles or bylaws that relate to the power to bind the corporation regarding the transactions and these changes were applicable at the time the client information record was created, then the board resolution stating the change would be included in this type of record.

Retention: You must keep these records, other than client information records, for five years from the day the last business transaction was conducted. Client information records must be kept for five years from the day they were created.

8. Reasonable measures records

The term “reasonable measures” refers to activities you are expected to undertake in order to meet certain obligations. The PCMLTFA and associated Regulations explicitly state when you must take reasonable measures to meet an obligation.

As of June 17, 2017, the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Regulations have been changed to require that a record be kept when reasonable measures were taken, but were unsuccessful. A reasonable measure is unsuccessful when you do not obtain a response, such as a yes or no, and you are unable to make a conclusive determination. Refer to section 67.3 of the Regulations for every activity where you are required to keep records when reasonable measures were unsuccessful.

When reasonable measures are unsuccessful, you must record the following information:

  • the measures taken;
  • the date on which each measure was taken; and
  • the reasons why the measures were unsuccessful.

You must outline the reasonable measures that you take in your compliance policies and procedures. This can form part of your unsuccessful reasonable measures record, or you could document, on a case-by-case basis, the measure taken in each record for unsuccessful reasonable measures.

For example, if you ask a client if they are conducting a large cash transaction on behalf of a third party and they refuse to answer the question – your record should indicate that you asked, the date you asked and the fact that the client refused to answer yes or no.

Should you take a measure that is not included in your policies and procedures, you would have to include details of that measure taken in your record of unsuccessful reasonable measures.

Retention: You must keep records of your unsuccessful reasonable measures for at least five years following the date they were created.

Exceptions to record keeping requirements

If you are required to keep a record about information that is readily available in other records that you have kept, you do not have to record the same information again. This means that if you keep the required information and can produce it during a FINTRAC examination you do not need to create a new record to meet your obligations.

You are not required to keep a large cash transaction record if the cash is received from a financial entity or a public body.

If you receive $3,000 or more from a financial entity for the issuance of traveller's cheques, money orders or other similar negotiable instruments, you do not have to keep a record of the transaction.

March 2021 

March 2021

This guidance comes into effect on June 1, 2021.

Money service businesses (MSBs) and foreign money services businesses (FMSBs) have record keeping requirements under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) and associated Regulations.

This guidance outlines certain record keeping requirements for MSBs and FMSBs. 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 the record keeping requirements?

**Note: Throughout this guidance, 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
    • Electronic Funds Transfer Reports
  2. Large cash transaction records
  3. Large virtual currency transaction records
  4. Records of transactions of $3,000 or more
  5. Records of remitting and transmitting $1,000 or more in funds by means other than an electronic funds transfer
  6. Records of electronic funds transfers of $1,000 or more
  7. Records of virtual currency transfers equivalent to $1,000 or more
  8. Foreign currency exchange transaction tickets
  9. Virtual currency exchange transaction tickets
  10. Created or received internal memorandums about MSB/FMSB services,
  11. Service agreement 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 Report

When you submit a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) to FINTRAC, you must keep a copy of it.Footnote 1

Retention: At least five years after the day the STR was submitted.Footnote 2

Terrorist Property Report

When you submit a Terrorist Property Report (TPR) to FINTRAC, you must keep a copy of Footnote 3 it.

Retention: At least five years after the day the TPR was submitted.Footnote 4

Large Cash Transaction Report

When you submit a Large Cash Transaction Report (LCTR) to FINTRAC, you must keep a copy of it.Footnote 5

Retention: At least five years from the date the LCTR was created.Footnote 6

Large Virtual Currency Transaction Report

When you submit a Large Virtual Currency Transaction Report (LVCTR) to FINTRAC, you must keep a copy of it.Footnote 7

Retention: At least five years from the date the LVCTR was created.Footnote 8

Electronic Funds Transfer Report

When you submit an Electronic Funds Transfer Report (EFTR) to FINTRAC, you must keep a copy of it.Footnote 9

Retention: At least five years from the date the EFTR was created.Footnote 10

b. Large cash transaction records

MSBs must keep a large cash transaction record when they receive $10,000 or more in cash.Footnote 11 FMSBs must keep a large cash transaction record when they receive $10,000 or more in cash from a person or an entity in Canada.Footnote 12

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 13

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

A large cash transaction record must include:Footnote 15

  • the date you received the cash;
  • for any person involved in the transaction (including the person from whom you received the cash), their name, address, date of birth, and occupation, or in the case of a sole proprietor, the nature of their principal business;
  • for any entity involved in the transaction (including the entity from which you received the cash), their name, address and nature of their principal business;
  • the type and amount of each fiat currency received;
  • the method by which you received the cash (for example, in person, by mail, by armoured car, etc.);
  • the exchange rates used and their source (if applicable);
  • if an account was affected by the transaction, include:
    • the account number and type of account; and
    • the name of each account holder;
  • every reference number related to the transaction that is meant to be similar to an account number;
  • the purpose of the transaction (for example, the cash was used to purchase a money order, etc.);
  • the following details about the remittance (i.e. the disposition) of, or exchange for, the cash received:
    • the method of remittance (for example, wire transfer, money order, etc.);
    • if the remittance is in funds, the amount and type of funds involved;
    • if the remittance is not in funds, the type of remittance (for example, virtual currency, etc.) and value if different from the amount received in cash; and
    • the name of every person or entity involved in the remittance, their account number or policy number. If there is no account or policy number, their identifying number.

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

c. Large virtual currency transaction records

MSBs must keep a large virtual currency (VC) transaction record when they receive VC in an amount equivalent to $10,000 or more.Footnote 17 FMSBs must keep a large VC transaction record when they receive VC in an amount equivalent to $10,000 or more from a person or an entity in Canada.Footnote 18

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 19

**Note: This requirement is subject to the 24-hour rule.Footnote 20

A large VC transaction record must include:Footnote 21

  • the date you received the VC;
  • for any person involved in the transaction (including the person from whom you received the VC), their name, address, date of birth, and their occupation, or in the case of a sole proprietor, the nature of their principal business;
  • for any entity involved in the transaction (including the entity from which you received the VC), their name, address and the nature of their principal business;
  • the type and amount of each VC involved in the receipt;
  • the exchange rates used and their source;
  • if an account was affected by the transaction, include:
    • the account number and account type; and
    • the name of each account holder;
  • every reference number related to the transaction that is meant to be equivalent to an account number; and
  • every transaction identifier (this may include a transaction hash or similar identifier, if applicable), and every sending and receiving address.

Retention: At least five years from the date the large VC transaction record was created.Footnote 22

d. Records of transactions of $3,000 or more

Issuance of traveller's cheques, money orders or other similar negotiable instruments

When you receive $3,000 or more in funds or an equivalent amount in VC for the issuance of traveller's cheques, money orders or other similar negotiable instruments from a person or entity, you must record:Footnote 23

  • the date you received the funds or VC;
  • if you received the amount from a person, their name, address, date of birth and their occupation, or in the case of a sole proprietor, the nature of their principal business;
  • if you receive the amount from an entity, their name, address and the nature of their principal business;
  • the amount received for the issuance;
  • the amount and type of funds received, and the amount and type of VC involved;
  • if an account is involved in the transaction:
    • the account number and account type; and
    • the name of each account holder;
  • every reference number related to the transaction that is meant to be similar to an account number; and
  • if VC is involved, every transaction identifier including transaction hashes or similar identifiers (if applicable) and every sending and receiving address.

Redemption of money orders

When you redeem one or more money orders for a total value of $3,000 or more in funds or in an equivalent amount of VC at the request of a person or entity, you must record:Footnote 24

  • the date the money orders were redeemed;
  • if the client is a person, their name, address, date of birth and their occupation, or in the case of a sole proprietor, the nature of their principal business;
  • if the client is an entity, their name, address and the nature of their principal business;
  • the total amount of the money order or money orders;
  • the name of the issuer of each money order;
  • if an account is involved in the redemption:
    • the account number and account type; and
    • the name of each account holder;
  • every reference number related to the redemption that is meant to be similar to an account number; and
  • if the redemption involves VC, every transaction identifier, including transaction hashes or similar identifiers (as applicable), and every sending and receiving address.

Retention: At least five years from the date the record for a transaction of $3,000 or more was created.Footnote 25

e. Records of remitting and transmitting $1,000 or more in funds by means other than an electronic funds transfer

Transmitting $1,000 or more in funds

When you transmit $1,000 or more in funds at the request of a person or an entity by means other than an electronic funds transfer (for example, by using informal value transfer systems such as Hawalas), you must record:Footnote 26

  • the date of the transmission;
  • the type and amount of each fund involved in the transmission;
  • if the client is a person, their name, address, telephone number, date of birth and their occupation, or in the case of a sole proprietor, the nature of their principal business;
  • if the client is an entity, their name, address, telephone number and the nature of their principal business;
  • the exchange rates used and their source;
  • the name and address of each beneficiary;
  • the number of every account involved in the transaction; and
  • every reference number related to the transaction that is meant to be similar to an account number.

Remitting $1,000 or more in funds to a beneficiary

When you remit $1,000 or more in funds to a beneficiary at the request of a person or an entity by means other than an electronic funds transfer (for example, by using an informal value transfer systems such as Hawala), you must record:Footnote 27

  • the date of the remittance;
  • the type and amount of each of the funds involved in the remittance;
  • the name of the person or entity who requested the remittance;
  • the name, address, telephone number, date of birth and occupation, or in the case of a sole proprietor, the nature of the principal business of each person who is a beneficiary;
  • the name, address, telephone number and the nature of the principal business of each entity that is a beneficiary;
  • the exchange rates used for the remittance and their source;
  • the number of every account involved in the transaction; and
  • every reference number related to the transaction that is meant to be similar to an account number. 

Retention: At least five years from the date the record for the transmission or remittance of $1,000 or more was created.Footnote 28

f. Records of electronic funds transfers of $1,000 or more

Initiating an electronic funds transfer of $1,000 or more

When you initiate, at the request of a person or an entity, an electronic funds transfer (EFT) of $1,000 or more, you must record:Footnote 29

  • the date the EFT was initiated;
  • the amount and type of funds involved in the initiation;
  • if the client is a person, their name, address, telephone number, date of birth and their occupation, or in the case of a sole proprietor, the nature of their principal business;
  • if the client is an entity, their name, address, telephone number and the nature of their principal business;
  • the exchange rates used and their source;
  • the name and address of each beneficiary;
  • if an account is involved in the initiation:
    • the account number and account type; and
    • the name of each account holder;
  • every reference number related to the EFT that is meant to be similar to an account number; and
  • the number of every account that is involved in the EFT, other than those involved in the initiation.

Sending an international EFT of $1,000 or more

When you send, as an intermediary, an international EFT of $1,000 or more that was initiated by another reporting entity, you must record:Footnote 30

  • the date the EFT was sent;
  • if fiat currencies were exchanged in the course of sending the EFT, the amount and type of each fiat currency involved in the exchange;
  • the exchange rates used and their source;
  • for every account involved in sending the EFT:
    • the account number and account type; and
    • the name of each account holder;
  • every reference number related to sending the EFT that is meant to be similar to an account number;
  • the name and address of the person or entity that requested the initiation of the EFT, unless the information was not included with the transfer and cannot be obtained by taking reasonable measures; and
  • the name and address of each beneficiary, unless the information was not included with the transfer and cannot be obtained by taking reasonable measures.

Final receipt of an international EFT of $1,000 or more

When you are the final recipient of an international EFT of $1,000 or more, you must record:Footnote 31

  • the date the EFT was finally received;
  • the amount and type of funds involved in the final receipt;
  • the name, address, telephone number, date of birth and in the case of a sole proprietor, the nature of their principal business or occupation of each person who is a beneficiary;
  • the name, address, telephone number and the nature of the principal business of each entity that is a beneficiary;
  • the date of remittance;
  • the exchange rates used for the remittance and their source;
  • if the remittance is in funds, the amount and type of funds involved in the remittance;
  • if the remittance is not in funds, the type of remittance (for example, virtual currency, precious stones, etc.) and its value, if different from the amount of funds finally received;
  • for every account involved in the final receipt or remittance:
    • the account number and account type; and
    • the name of each account holder;
  • every reference number related to the EFT that is meant to be similar to an account number;
  • the name and address of the person or entity that requested the initiation of the EFT, unless that information was not included with the transfer and cannot be obtained by taking reasonable measures; and
  • the number of every account that is involved in the EFT, other than those involved in the final receipt or remittance.

**Note: When you initiate, send as an intermediary, or finally receive an EFT, you must include with the transfer the prescribed information in accordance with the travel rule. Please see FINTRAC's travel rule guidance for more information.

Retention: At least five years from the date the EFT record of $1,000 or more was created.Footnote 32

g. Records of virtual currency transfers in amounts equivalent to $1,000 or more

VC transfer in an amount equivalent to $1,000

When you transfer VC in amount equivalent to $1,000 or more at the request of a person or entity, you must record:Footnote 33

  • the date of the transfer;
  • the amount and type of VCs that are involved in the transfer;
  • if the client is a person, their name, address, date of birth and occupation, or in the case of a sole proprietor, the nature of their principal business;
  • if the client is an entity, their name, address and the nature of their principal business;
  • the name and address of each beneficiary;
  • for every account involved in the transfer:
    • the account number and account type; and
    • name of each account holder;
  • every reference number related to the transaction that is meant to be similar to an account number;
  • every transaction identifier transaction hashes or similar identifiers (if applicable) and every sending and receiving address; and
  • exchange rates used and their source.

Receipt of VC in an amount equivalent to $1,000 or more for remittance to a beneficiary

When you receive VC in an amount equivalent to $1,000 or more for remittance to a beneficiary, you must record:Footnote 34

  • the date of the receipt;
  • the amount and type of VCs that are involved;
  • the name, address, date of birth and occupation, or in the case of a sole proprietor, the nature of the principal business of each person who is a beneficiary;
  • the name, address and the nature of the principal business of each entity that is a beneficiary;
  • the date of the remittance;
  • the exchange rates used for the remittance and their source;
  • if the remittance is in VC, the amount and type of each VC involved;
  • if the remittance is not in VC, the type and value of the remittance, if different from the value of the VC received;
  • for every account affected by the transaction:
    • the account number and account type; and
    • the name of each account holder;
  • every reference number related to the transaction that is meant to be similar to an account number;
  • every transaction identifier, including transaction hashes or similar identifiers (if applicable), and every sending and receiving addresses; and
  • the name and address of the person or entity that requested the transfer unless, that information was not included with the transfer and cannot be obtained by taking reasonable measures.    

**Note: When you transfer VC, you must include with the transfer the prescribed information in accordance with the travel rule. When you receive VC, you must take reasonable measures to ensure that the transfer received includes the prescribed information. Please see FINTRAC's travel rule guidance for more information

Retention: At least five years from the date the VC transfer or VC receipt record was created.Footnote 35

h. Foreign currency exchange transaction tickets

You must keep a transaction ticket, which may take the form of an entry in a transaction register, for every foreign currency exchange transaction you conduct, regardless of the amount. Each transaction ticket must include:Footnote 36

  • the date of the transaction;
  • if the transaction was of $3,000 or more and requested by a person, their name, address, date of birth and occupation, or in the case of a sole proprietor, the nature of their principal business;
  • if the transaction was of $3,000 or more and requested by an entity, its name, address and the nature of its principal business;
  • the type and amount of each fiat currency received from the client and the type and amount of each fiat currency given to the client;
  • the method (for example, a currency exchange business) by which the payment was made and received;
  • the exchange rates used and their source;
  • for every account affected by the transaction:
    • the account number and account type; and
    • the name of each account holder;
  • every reference number related to the transaction that is meant to be similar to an account number.

Retention: At least five years from the date the foreign exchange transaction record was created.Footnote 37

i. VC exchange transaction tickets

You must keep VC exchange transaction tickets, which may take the form of an entry in a transaction register, for every VC exchange transaction you conduct, regardless of the amount. Each transaction ticket must include:Footnote 38

  • the date of the transaction;
  • if the VC transaction was equivalent to $1,000 or more and requested by a person, their name, address, date of birth and occupation, or in the case of a sole proprietor, the nature of their principal business;
  • if the VC transaction was equivalent to $1,000 or more and requested by an entity, its name, address and the nature of its principal business;
  • the amount and type of funds and the amount and type of VCs involved in the payment made and received by the person or entity that requested the exchange;
  • the method (for example, a VC currency exchange business) by which the payment was made and received;
  • the exchange rates used and their source;
  • for every account involved in the transaction:
    • the account number and account type; and
    • the name of each account holder;
  • every reference number related the transaction that is meant to be similar to that of an account number; and
  • every transaction identifier, (this may include a transaction hash or a similar identifier, if applicable), and every sending and receiving address.

Retention: At least five years from the date the VC exchange transaction record was created.Footnote 39

j. Created or received internal memorandums about MSB/FMSB services

You must keep a record of every internal memorandum (i.e. any memo, note, message or similar communication) that you create or receive in the normal course of business regarding MSB/FMSB services you provide to clients.Footnote 40

Retention: At least five years from the date the internal memorandum record was created.Footnote 41

k. Service agreement records

MSBs that enter into an agreement with an entity to provide an MSB service covered under section 5(h) of the PCMLTFA, and FMSBs that enter into an agreement with an entity in Canada to provide an FMSB service covered under section 5(h.1) of the PCMLTFA must keep a record of:Footnote 42

  • the name, address, date of birth, and occupation or in the case of a sole proprietor, the nature of their principal business of every person who signs the agreement on behalf of the entity;
  • an information recordFootnote 43 about the entity, which must include:
    • name and address of the entity; and
    • the nature of the entity's principal business;
  • if the entity is a corporation, a copy of the part of its official corporate records that contains provisions relating to the power to bind the corporation in respect of transactions with the MSB or FMSB;
    • this could include a certificate of incumbency, the articles of incorporation or the bylaws of the corporation that set out the officers duly authorized to sign on behalf of the corporation, such as the president, treasurer, vice-president, comptroller, etc. If there were subsequent changes to the articles of incorporation or bylaws that relate to the power to bind the corporation regarding transactions, and these changes were applicable at the time the service agreement record was created, the board resolution stating the change should be included in the record; and
  • a list that includes the name, address and date of birth of each of the entity's employees who are authorized to order a transaction under the agreement.

Retention: At least five years from the day the last transaction was conducted.Footnote 44

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 45 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 46

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 47 You have to obtain and keep the records that were kept for you by an employee or 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 your requirements 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 the 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 48

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 and public bodies

You are not required 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 from a person who is acting on behalf of a client that is an FE or public body.Footnote 49

If you receive funds or VC in an amount equivalent to $3,000 or more from an FE, or a person who is acting on behalf of a client that is an FE, for the issuance of traveller's cheques, money orders or other similar negotiable instruments, you are not required to keep a record of the transaction.Footnote 50

Virtual currency

When you transfer or receive VC as compensation for the validation of a transaction that is recorded in a distributed ledger or when you exchange, transfer or receive a nominal amount of VC for the sole purpose of validating different transaction or a transfer of information, you do not need to keep a record of: Footnote 51

  • large VC transactions;
  • transfers of $1,000 or more in VC at the request of a person or entity;
  • receipt of $1,000 or more in VC for remittance to a beneficiary; or
  • VC exchange transaction tickets.
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