The Financial and Consumer Services Commission of New Brunswick (FCNB) has initiated an enforcement action, filing a statement of allegations with the Financial and Consumer Services Tribunal (the Tribunal) seeking to revoke the licence of a New Brunswick real estate agency.
The statement of allegations filed with the Tribunal alleges that Century 21 A&T Countryside Realty Inc. (the agency) has persistently and repeatedly breached various trust account rules and other provisions under the Real Estate Agents Act (the Act), even after being placed under a lengthy period of supervision. In addition to revoking their licence, FCNB is also seeking that the agency cease conducting all regulated activity and pay an administrative penalty and hearing costs.
The New Brunswick real estate industry is co-regulated by FCNB and the New Brunswick Real Estate Association (NBREA). The Act provides FCNB the authority to investigate complaints and order financial audits when necessary. Penalties are provided for non-compliance.
“Part of our role in administering the Real Estate Agents Act is to conduct compliance reviews,” says Alaina Nicholson, Director of Consumer Affairs at FCNB. “When we find evidence of non-compliance, it’s our job to hold those people or entities accountable to ensure their clients are fairly treated and that trust funds are properly managed.”
In 2019, an inspection of the agency by the NBREA found deficiencies in its trust account and its financial reporting oversight, leading FCNB to place terms and conditions on the agency’s licence. As a term and condition, the agency agreed to submit financial statements, quarterly reviews of the trust accounts by an independent third-party, and monthly trust reconciliation and supporting documentation to FCNB.
The statement of allegations filed with the Tribunal alleges that after several opportunities and extensions, the agency has repeatedly failed to meet the terms and conditions on their licence. FCNB alleges this non-compliance presents a risk to consumers and has filed an enforcement proceeding to revoke the agency’s licence.
Century 21 A&T Countryside Realty Inc. has 24 real estate salespeople in Moncton, St. Andrews, Fredericton and Rothesay. Should the Tribunal revoke the agency’s licence, any active listings with the agency could be negotiated with a new agency.
New Brunswickers who have any concerns about a real estate transaction, a mortgage transaction or an investment opportunity are encouraged to contact FCNB.
Audio file of Alaina Nicholson, director of consumer affairs, FCNB
1 866 933-2222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FCNB has the mandate to protect consumers and enhance public confidence in the financial and consumer marketplace through the provision of regulatory and educational services. It is responsible for the administration and enforcement of provincial legislation regulating mortgage brokers, payday lenders, real estate, securities, insurance, pensions, credit unions, trust and loan companies, cooperatives, and a wide range of other consumer legislation. It is an independent Crown corporation funded by the regulatory fees and assessments paid by the regulated sectors. Online educational tools and resources are available at www.fcnb.ca.