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Hi,

I heard from different sources that while making an electronic funds transfer or writing a cheque, we should always make it under 10K. If it is above it, the bank might take interest in where the money came from, be a pain in the *** and waist our time.

I just got myself a line of credit for the first time in my life with a limit of 20K. Does that mean that I can just write a 20K cheque for myself or do I have to worry about the 10K unofficial limit and write 2-3 cheques instead ? Anyone been there, done that ?

Dave
 

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Hi,

I heard from different sources that while making an electronic funds transfer or writing a cheque, we should always make it under 10K. If it is above it, the bank might take interest in where the money came from, be a pain in the *** and waist our time.

I just got myself a line of credit for the first time in my life with a limit of 20K. Does that mean that I can just write a 20K cheque for myself or do I have to worry about the 10K unofficial limit and write 2-3 cheques instead ? Anyone been there, done that ?

Dave
I've moved more than 10K around and didn't have any problems.
 

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Most time I have no problems with the electronic transfers, but once in a blue moon, I'm required to call back in person. All depends on each bank's Anti Money Laundering Policies.

"As of January 31, 2003 all of Canada's financial institutions:, including banks, credit unions, money services businesses, foreign exchanges and securities dealers, will be required by law to report large cash transactions in excess of 10K CDN to Canada's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) or the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center (FINTRAC)." (http://www.ltdsecurity.com) Transfer of 10K and above across Canada's borders are also required to be reported to CRA since 2003.

I was informed by ING Canada as well.

In US, it's been around since 1970 under the "Bank Secrecy Act".
 

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I don't think the government or banks are worried about the guy who buys a car with a $20,000 dollar cheque, or deposits a $20,000 cheque into his account, Cheques can be traced,

The concern is the guy who walks in a deposits $20,000 cash (not a cheque0 The cash is not traceable and the suspicion is that it may be the proceeds of crime.

Casinos used to be popular places to launder the proceeds of crime. A guy would walk in with $20,000 . He would be buy chips during the evening --say $5,000 at time. He would play with each lot until he lost no more than 10%, ---so ,$2000 overall ( the cost of doing business). At the end of the evening he would cash in his chips and ask for a cheque for the remaining $18,000. Now he can deposit the casino's cheque in a bank, while boasting about how he won big at the casino the night before. Of course the casinos and authorities caught on to that and they now keep an eye out for anyone trying to pull this stunt.
 

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The laws has decidedly getting stricter, an acquaintance recently wired $1K to Asia and she had to fill out all sorts of forms, including driver's license and SIN #

That used to be the case for any amount $10K or more but apparently the hammer has come down.
 

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Most time I have no problems with the electronic transfers, but once in a blue moon, I'm required to call back in person. All depends on each bank's Anti Money Laundering Policies.

"As of January 31, 2003 all of Canada's financial institutions:, including banks, credit unions, money services businesses, foreign exchanges and securities dealers, will be required by law to report large cash transactions in excess of 10K CDN to Canada's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) or the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center (FINTRAC)." (http://www.ltdsecurity.com) Transfer of 10K and above across Canada's borders are also required to be reported to CRA since 2003.

I was informed by ING Canada as well.

In US, it's been around since 1970 under the "Bank Secrecy Act".
Cool info!
 

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When I worked as an administrator for a small brokerage, we would routinely process cheques valued in the hundreds of thousands (mainly from people transferring their RRSP accounts in cash from other institutions). No one batted an eyelash about these cheques, in part because they were issued by other by other financial institutions. One time though, I processed a couple of US dollar personal cheques from a single investor in the amount of about US$3 million total. That caused a stir and had VP of operations and certain high level people in compliance among others calling my department to find out if we knew anything about our wealthy depositor, which of course we didn't because all we did was process transactions.
 

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Just confirming what has already been said, transactions over $10,000 have to be reported to FINTRAC is my understanding as per the AML protocols.

When I was a broker, we were also responsible for cross-referencing new clients against the international "known-terrorist" list, also as per the AML.

Since the brokerage was one of the big five, we had an annual online course to take on AML - kiting, smurfing, FINTRAC - some pretty interesting stuff....

You'd be amazed how much money is laundered....
 

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My only snags have involved cash - I've moved up to 6 figures electronically from deposit account to brokerage account, from deposit to deposit and up to multi 5 figures into and out of the states without any issues (maybe fintrac was watching, but no one ever contacted me)

I've been "hassled" at the bank with cash transactions below the 10K. Why are you taking it out, where did it come from, etc? Given the grief below 10K, I've never given them the opportunity to truly hassle me by moving more than 9,999 in cash.
 

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My only snags have involved cash - I've moved up to 6 figures electronically from deposit account to brokerage account, from deposit to deposit and up to multi 5 figures into and out of the states without any issues (maybe fintrac was watching, but no one ever contacted me)

I've been "hassled" at the bank with cash transactions below the 10K. Why are you taking it out, where did it come from, etc? Given the grief below 10K, I've never given them the opportunity to truly hassle me by moving more than 9,999 in cash.
FINTRAC guidelines can be found here: http://www.fintrac-canafe.gc.ca/publications/guide/guide-eng.asp

In a nutshell, transactions that must be reported are:

1. Any cash transaction over $10,000
2. Any cash transactions over a short period of time which total $10,000 or more
3. Any cash transactions of any amount which are fishy.
4. Any electronic transfers into or out of Canada over $10,000
5. Any transfers into or out of Canada in a short period of time which total $10,000 or more
6. Any transfers into or out of Canada of any amount which are fishy.
8. Any transaction of any kind which the financial institution, or any employee thereof, believes is fishy.

Fishy means any transaction which may be connected to terrorist activities, the drug trade, or any illegal activity; especially tax evasion. Simply being connected with a country that has terrorist links or drug production makes a transaction fishy. (So any transaction with Canada should be fishy, especially with BC!) Just using a credit card issued by a foreign bank is fishy.

Clearly, FINTRAC casts a very wide net.

The penalties for not reporting are harsh:

  1. Failure to report suspicious transactions: up to
    $2 million and/or 5 years imprisonment.
  2. Failure to report a large cash transaction or an electronic funds transfer: up to $500,000 for the first offence, $1 million for subsequent offences.
  3. Failure to meet record keeping requirements: up to $500,000 and/or 5 years imprisonment.
  4. Failure to provide assistance or provide information during compliance examination: up to $500,000 and/or 5 years imprisonment.
  5. Disclosing the fact that a suspicious transaction report was made, or disclosing the contents of such a report, with the intent to prejudice a criminal investigation: up to 2 years imprisonment.
What's interesting is that there is a penalty for telling a person that a report is being made. Anyway, the penalties for not reporting are so steep; you can be assured that anything remotely fishy is going to be reported. Doing a cash transaction for $9,999 (to stay under the $10,000 limit) will GUARANTEE a report will be made. If the bank asks you any questions about where money came from, where it's going, etc.; it's pretty sure they are making a report.

Forget about your "right to privacy". In this realm, it doesn't exist.

However, a report is not in itself evidence of wrongdoing. I believe that the vast majority of reports are never investigated.
 

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8. Any transaction of any kind which the financial institution, or any employee thereof, believes is fishy.
Good summary.

I wonder what effort institutions put into catching fishy behaviour. Would they mine for behavioural patterns or just report the obvious?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
To give you feedback about my 20K credit line, I made myself a cheque for 10K just to test the waters and it got refused. The bank was appearently trying to contact me several times (unfortunately, I am not always available to answer phones at work during their office hours). So I made two other cheques for 5K each and there was no problem. It was interesting.

Dave
 

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FINTRAC and the CRA

I tried to post a thread on this but i don't see it.

Does Fintrac send info on individuals performing large cash transactions (lct) to CRA?

If we leave CRA out of it and just stay with Fintrac, does Fintrac pursue the smaller fry?

So let's say i performed approximately 10-15 lcd's a year of about 12k each, buying precious metals. Would Fintrac track me down and investigate me for money laundering?

Or are they too inundated with actual criminals, terrorists and/or large scale fraudulent operations?

The average Joe probably won't be able to advise me but I thought maybe someone with firsthand knowledge or insider info would know.
 

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I would say that unless you have something to hide or are a little paranoid, just ignore all this stuff. I transfer up to 7 figures fairly frequently and have never had an issue. Cash might be another story. Ask Brian Mulroney why somebody would want to use cash.
 
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