Money-services businesses - New regulatory framework effective April 1, 2012


Montréal - On April 1, 2012, the Money-Services Businesses Act (the "Act") and its Regulations will come into force. The Act, which will be administered by the Autorité des marchés financiers (the "AMF"), will govern businesses that offer the following money services: currency exchange, funds transfers, cheque cashing, the operation of private automated teller machines, and the issue or redemption of traveller's cheques, money orders or bank drafts. Currently in Québec, over 400 businesses provide money services and more than 5,000 private automated teller machines are in operation.

Under the new regulatory framework, these businesses must now hold a licence issued by the AMF in addition to meeting certain obligations such as maintaining records and verifying the identity of customers. If they fail to meet these obligations, or commit any offence under the Act, they may be subject to fines or have their licence revoked.

Businesses that are already operating on April 1, 2012 will have six months in which to file a licence application with the AMF. The section of the Act pertaining to private automated teller machines will come into force only on January 1, 2013.

In summer 2011, the AMF launched a consultation with industry participants further to the publication of its draft instruments (Regulation under the Money-Services Businesses Act, Regulation respecting fees and tariffs payable under the Money-Services Businesses Act and the Policy Statement to the Money-Services Businesses Act).

The Autorité des marchés financiers (the AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial industry.

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