BC government launching new crown agency to regulate real estate

Nov 12 2019, 1:39 pm

The provincial government has provided further details on a previously announced commitment to create a new crown agency that allows for the improved regulation of real estate transactions.

The BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) officially launched as a crown agency on November 1, with a mandate to provide a single and integrated regulator in the province for real estate, including mortgage brokers, private pension plans, and financial institutions.

“Bringing real estate regulation within the new BC Financial Services Authority is an important step towards modern, effective, and efficient regulation,” said Stanley Hamilton, chair of BCFSA, in a statement. “This announcement builds on the important work already in progress at the BCFSA and positions consumers to be able to benefit from an unprecedented depth of expertise and experience.”

It takes over the responsibility of real estate licensing, conduct, investigations, and disciplinary action, effectively bringing the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate and the Real Estate Council of British Columbia under its fold.

The creation of the new crown agency to regulate real estate was a key recommendation of recent reviews over the real estate regulatory structure and money-laundering practices.

“Buying a home is one of the most significant purchases people make in their lifetime, and by working together, the BC Financial Services Authority, Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate and the Real Estate Council of BC can combine their expertise to better protect consumers,” said BC finance minister Carole James.

Legislation supporting BCFSA’s work will be brought forward in Fall 2020, while further enactments in Spring 2021 will establish the integrated real estate and financial services regulator.