The financial services market in Canada has been developing at a fairly rapid pace in recent years. This has a positive impact on the economic viability of this country. It is in Canada that such financial and consumer protection instruments are laid down that make it attractive to foreign investors. In this regard, many investors are interested in the possibility of obtaining an MSB license in Canada.
Main reasons for obtaining an MSB license in Canada
- Stability and predictability of the financial market in Canada
- Stable political situation inside the country
- Economic freedom granted by the country
- Open and transparent financial services market
- Adapted tax regime
- The law enforcement system of the state enjoys the confidence of citizens and foreigners.
What is an MSB and why a license?
MSB is an institution that does not belong to the banking system, but may conduct certain types of financial activities. MSB regulation is based on the Center for Analysis of Financial Transactions and Reports in Canada.
For the legal operation of an MSB, a license is required, and the activities of such an institution must be exclusively within the framework of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
Activities with an MSB license:
- Currency exchange (the principle of working with Ukrainian exchangers is similar, that is, dollars for euros and vice versa).
- Money transfer services for individuals and legal entities
- Virtual currency trading
- Working with e-wallets
- Merchant acquiring (payments through terminals)
- Cryptocurrency exchange (service available from 2020).
If the company is registered outside of Canada and provides financial services, then in this case it needs to obtain an FMSB license. There is no particular difference between these two types of license. But the FMSB will allow such a company to operate in Canada with a ready-made active business.
The procedure for obtaining an MSB license
- Register companies in Canada in accordance with the laws of that country
- The name of the company must be certified. The name must consist of two words, one of which must necessarily reflect the main type of activity (payments, transfers, currency exchange, etc.). The use of the abbreviation is prohibited.
- The legal entity is duly registered
- Open a bank account with authorized capital
- Assign the management of this company. When establishing a company, there must be at least one director with experience in the financial sector.
- Based on the above documents, prepare an application for an MSB license and add all the necessary documents.
- Prepare reporting documentation for AML/CTF and business plan.
List of Documents Attached to the MSB License Application
- Open bank account information
- Information about the number of employees and the organizational structure of the company
- Corporate documents of the company, as well as its legal address in Canada
- Information about the owners of this business, as well as about all the top management of such a company
- Calculation of the amount of transactions per year
- Description of the strategy of this business and risk mitigation assessment
Term for obtaining a license
When submitting a full package of documents, the period for obtaining an MSB license can vary from several weeks to several months. It all depends on whether additional documents will be needed in the process of considering the application.
Key Responsibilities for MSB Licensed Companies
- Information about the clients who will use the services of the company. If the amount of the operation carried out by the client is significant enough (10 thousand US dollars), then such a client needs to be additionally verified.
- If the services of the company are used by persons holding a political position in the country, the company must take measures to obtain information about the origin of the funds of such a client.
- Maintaining and storing financial records should be done properly. Information about financial transactions with additional customer verification must be kept for five years from the date of such transaction.
So, in order to obtain an MSB license in Canada, you first need to study the specifics of the financial market of this country and its regulatory framework that regulates these issues.