Confusing sanctions regime irks industry

Industry players say the tangle of lists that Canadian financial institutions rely on to sanction terrorists, tyrants and other troublemakers are confusing and often out of date.

OTTAWA — Industry players say the tangle of lists that Canadian financial institutions rely on to sanction terrorists, tyrants and other troublemakers are confusing and often out of date.

Records released under the Access to Information Act show the complaints have prompted a federal plan to create a single, comprehensive roster of targeted people and organizations.

Businesses currently use 19 different lists from five domestic and international websites to ensure the freezing or seizure of assets linked to certain individuals and entities in countries including Iran, North Korea and, most recently, Russia and Ukraine.

Private-sector members of a federal advisory committee on anti-money laundering measures and terrorist financing have expressed concerns about the burdensome requirements.

At a May 2013 committee meeting, the Finance Department circulated a draft plan to address grievances including the lack of a consolidated, downloadable list.

Officials told a follow-up meeting last November that progress was being made on developing a single website with all relevant sanctions information.

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