Inspections of Money-Services Businesses

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The Money-Services Businesses Act (MSBA) has been amended to give Revenu Québec the authority to do inspections and conduct investigations that concern money-services businesses (MSBs). Inspections are done in MSBs across Québec throughout the year.

Revenu Québec inspectors can visit an MSB at any time, without prior notice, in order to check compliance with applicable legislation. During these visits, inspectors collect information, observe how businesses and their staff do things and ensure that they fulfill their obligations. Inspectors can also ask to check records and supporting documents.

Responsibilities of inspectors

When they go to an MSB, Revenu Québec inspectors must:

  • communicate clearly and concisely;
  • presume that the person or entity that operates the MSB or the business's respondent is acting in good faith;
  • process files in a fair and equitable manner;
  • refer businesses or their respondents to the Revenu Québec staff that can answer any questions that the inspectors cannot;
  • complete mandates in a methodical and timely manner;
  • keep a business or its respondent informed about the progress of an inspection mandate.

Scope of inspections

Inspections concern such matters as:

  • the display and validity of licences;
  • disclosures required by law;
  • keeping of records and registers;
  • verification of client and co-contracting party identities;
  • supervision;
  • holding an account in a financial institution;
  • computer security and the protection of personal information;
  • compliance with decisions handed down by Revenu Québec or by the court with respect to the operation of an MSB.

Inspection process

When a Revenu Québec inspector visits an MSB, the person or entity that operates the business or the business's respondent must, on request:

  • allow the inspector to enter, at any convenient time, any location where:
    • the business is operated or property is kept,
    • commercial activities are carried on,
    • records are (or should be) kept;
  • allow the inspector to consult the records and supporting documents in the format in which they are kept (either paper or electronic);
  • provide all documents and information requested by the inspector for the purposes of the inspection;
  • provide any reasonable assistance the inspector may need during the inspection.

The person or entity that operates the MSB or the business's respondent must never hinder an inspector.

Fines and sanctions

A person who contravenes any of sections 3, 22 to 35 and 63 to 65 of the MSBA or who is guilty of an offence under section 66 of the MSBA is liable to a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $50,000 in the case of a natural person and not less than $15,000 nor more than $200,000 in the case of a legal person or other entity. 

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