The B.C. government has established a single Crown agency tasked with regulating the province’s real estate industry.
The move merges the new BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) with the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) and the Real Estate Council of B.C. (RECBC).
The government of former premier Christy Clark ended self-regulation of the real estate industry in 2016, after an independent report into misconduct in the real estate industry and shady practices such as “shadow flipping.”
The NDP government then launched a review of the regulatory system in 2018.
That review, headed by former civil servant Dan Perrin, recommended creating a single office with responsibility for regulating the industry. The Expert Panel on Money Laundering’s May 2019 report echoed that recommendation.
According to the Ministry of Finance, the BCFSA will now be tasked with real estate licensing, conduct, investigations and discipline.
It says the new agency will streamline and modernize regulation, and better monitor the industry for money laundering.
The ministry says the RECBC and OSRE will be integrated within the new agency.
The BCFSA was established on Nov. 1, and initially tasked with regulating mortgage brokers, private pension plans and financial institutions.
It assumed the responsibilities of the Financial Institutions Commission (FICOM), which operated as a branch of the Ministry of Finance.
The new agency is governed by a board of directors, appointed by the government of the day, and currently headed by CEO Blair Morrison.