The leak of 11.5 million documents relating to the financial affairs of individuals and institutions who used a Panama-based law firm has triggered investigations around the world. Ottawa is expected to clamp down on those who are avoiding paying the correct tax by using schemes such as ‘shell companies’ to hide their true earnings.

Experts now predict that banks will be faced with tougher scrutiny and regulation to close loopholes, which are often legal but morally questionable. At a time when Canada’s real estate industry is also trying to tackle the potential for money laundering and ‘dirty’ money from foreign investors there could be a benefit for the industry if banks are forced to put stronger systems in place.

“Banks don’t have the proper framework, in terms of regulation and information sources, provided to them to do the due diligence they need to do,” Brian Kindle, executive director of the Miami-based Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists told The Globe and Mail.

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