Conference Survey Results – November 12, 2013

The inaugural CMSBA Conference was a great success, with approximately 135 attendees and a fantastic lineup of speakers.

At the event, we asked everyone to fill out a questionnaire about how they felt about each part of the event, and the results were overwhelmingly positive.

Questionnaires Result:

Part 2: Please list your top 5 most pressing concerns/issues/problems with running your business:

These are listed in order of most frequent to least frequent on the questionnaire form:


  • Bank accounts (acquiring, maintaining, etc.)
  • Relationships with banks – difficult to maintain, often uncertain and/or hostile
  • Poor banking relationships between Canada and USA
  • Bank fees are too high

FINTRAC & the government:

  • FINTRAC auditors are not consistent
  • FINTRAC updates to standards are getting stricter
  • Enormous amount of paperwork required
  • Unfriendly relationship between FINTRAC & MSBs – FINTRAC is unapproachable
  • Lack of accessible/reliable precedents to use as guidance
  • Difficult to find enough STRs to satisfy FINTRAC
  • More government departments are getting involved

Compliance regime:

  • Creating a cost-effective compliance regime
  • Creating a time-efficient regime
  • Risk assessment – what type of reference to use/how to record & report effectively


  • Small MSBs cannot afford to invest such high amounts of money into compliance
  • Complying with standards results in loss of clients/income
  • Service providers are too expensive, such as watch list name screening and compliance reviewers
  • External reviews fee is too high


  • Registration pending – changes to registration procedure
  • Restrictive regulations in regards to FX forwards


  • Lack of affordable IT tools
  • How to use technology to efficiently generate suspicious transaction reports


  • MSBs who provide payments services to other MSBs are in a higher risk category with their FIs
  • Reputation of MSB industry needs to be improved
  • Staffing/training materials

Part 3: Please suggest your top 5 topics for the 2014 CMSBA Conference:

These are listed in order of most frequent to least frequent on the questionnaire form:

  • More about banking relationships, more banking representatives
  • How to more easily understand and implement rules and regulations
  • Industry standards – what are our peers’ standards of compliance, how to develop more consistent standards across the board – comparing notes and experiences among members re: audits, banking relationships
  • Updates on the new FINTRAC standards
  • How to use technology to enforce compliance and improve your MSB business
  • Comparing MSBs – small business vs. big corporations
  • Update since previous conference: progress report on establishing industry standards, profile-raising initiatives, what the CMSBA has done over the year
  • How to make an effective compliance and risk assessment regime
  • How to keep up with banking restrictions in the USA
  • CMSBA as an association: how we will enforce association standards & membership, overview of what types of businesses are in the association, how to increase a sense of unity and have our voice heard
  • How to prepare for bank reviews and FINTRAC audits
  • FINTRAC-specific sessions on the following: creating EFT reports, recording third party identification
  • MSB case study: traits of a successful MSB

Part 4: Comments from attendees:

"Suggestion: round table discussion with banking community - dialogue to change the perception of MSBs - we can work together cooperatively to do business together."
- Angela Chartrand,

"Great venue, excellent moderator."
- Curt Binns, ATMIA

"Robert Osbourne was very good. Would be great to have compliance officers and risk managers from other banks present to field questions and have an open dialogue with MSBs at 2014, if at all possible."
- Ian McAuley, Mercantile Exchange

"Jackie Shinfield was very informative in her presentation."
- Vidya Sookraj, Mercantile Exchange

"Suggestions: have a round table of various regulators, FIs, credit unions and MSBs so that everyone can come together on their understanding of what is required and what are the risks and deterrents"
- Karene Lewis, Luminus Financial

"Should require cell phones to be kept on vibrate or silent to avoid disturbances. Presenters should be neutral - this is not a sales event."
- Marc Auger, Accu-rate

"Excellent conference!"
- Sandra Safian, Peace Bridge Duty Free

"Excellent initiative, must have a longer session from Jackie Shinfield"
- Inderpal Bharaj, Xpress Money Services LTD

"Great effort guys. I'd be happy to provide my insight from serving on the board of other financial associations."
- Michael Smith, GFX Partners

"Relatively a great start and looking forward to more MSB conferences in the near future. It's a good united organization and networking opportunity."
- Omar Mohamed, Platinum Exchange

"Please provide an update to the next steps re: letter to the OSC re: FX forwards and possible requirement to register with OSC. Also, two coffee/tea stations would be great."
- Elvira Fernandes, GFX Partners Inc

"This conference is a fantastic value for the money."
- John Ngo, Transaigon

"Get more often meetings."
- Lilian Magalhaes, Latibraz international Corp

"Great conference! Keep up the good work."
- Dan de la Cruz, Gemini Worldwide

"Idea: Create a member-representative directory to promote inter-member contact. Here's how the MSBA can get leverage on the banks to mitigate the risk of sectoral de-banking: MSBs tend to represent various ethnic constituencies; ethnic constituencies are highly valued strategic electoral communities desirable to federal politicians who can influence Canadian Bankers Association. If the MSBA lets politicians know that our constituencies do not appreciate seeing their MSBs bullied by the banks and would think badly of politicians who could help but don't. ALSO: have the MSBA negotiate an affordable rate with Canada Post for remote ID Verification services. $80,000 per firm is unrealistic."
- Bryce Dickson, KVB Kunlun Canada

"Very professional conference, especially for the first one!"
- Michael Cox, Vancouver Bullion

"More power. Thank you!"
- Regina Junio, ABSCBN Canada Remittance Corp.

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