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FINTRAC updates identity verification guidance to include identification of human trafficking victims

FINTRAC provides regulatory guidance to help the victims of human trafficking

On this Human Trafficking Awareness Day, FINTRAC is proud to highlight its significant contribution to the efforts of the financial sector in combatting modern slavery and human trafficking through the Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAST) Survivor Inclusion Initiative. This initiative aims to facilitate access to banking services for vulnerable individuals such as survivors of human trafficking whose financial identity or banking products may have been hijacked by their traffickers for money laundering or other criminal purposes, potentially ruining their credit record and complicating their financial reintegration and independence. 

Working closely with the private sector and its federal partners, particularly the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, FINTRAC has updated its regulatory guidance on the Methods to verify the identity of persons and entities to provide clear direction on how banks, authorized foreign banks and federal credit unions, as defined by the Bank Act, can verify, for example, the identify of a victim of human trafficking, when that victim may not have proper identification documentation or information to open a retail deposit account. 

The updated guidance includes a section on “How to verify the identity of a person who does not have any identity verification documentation or information”, which provides the specific circumstances for which an alternative method to verify the identity of a person can be used. It provides the requirement in cases where people may not have identification documentation or information that would easily allow them to access basic banking services or products while allowing banks, authorized foreign banks and federal credit unions to remain compliant with the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act and associated Regulations.

As Canada’s financial intelligence unit and anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regulator, FINTRAC continues to play a critical role in combatting human trafficking for sexual exploitation through Project Protect by harnessing the power of financial intelligence to identify possible human traffickers—and broader networks—linked to this horrific crime. 

Inspired by Timea Nagy, a survivor of human trafficking and leading advocate for victims, Project Protect was launched in 2016 as an innovative public-private partnership aimed at targeting the money laundering associated with human trafficking in the sex trade. Since its launch, FINTRAC has seen a 750% increase in suspicious transaction reporting related to money laundering associated with human trafficking for sexual exploitation, and the Centre has provided more than 1,500 disclosures of actionable financial intelligence to support the investigations of police and law enforcement agencies across the country and internationally. Project Protect is an important element of the Government of Canada’s National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking: 2019–2024, and is playing a key role in helping to protect and rescue some of Canada’s most vulnerable citizens.

For questions on FINTRAC’s guidance, please contact



Methods to verify the identity of persons and entities

Categories: Anti-Money Laundering FINTRAC Updates Guidance Human Trafficking


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