The date of 02 October 2017 is of great significance if you are an accountable institution, in terms of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 2001 as amended (“the FIC Act”). It is common knowledge that the recent legislative amendments brought about by the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment, No. 01 of 2017, become effective and operational at various dates.

Some of the most important and game-changing amendments became operational on 02 October 2017. These include amongst others the following:

  • Certain key definitions;
  • Risk Based Approach – the moving away from a Rules Based Approach to a hybrid of Risk and Rules Based Approach;
  • Customer Due Diligence;
  • Foreign Prominent Public Officials;
  • Domestic Prominent Influential Persons;
  • Amendments to record keeping;
  • The Risk Management and Compliance Programme which replaces the previous Internal Rules; and
  • Governance of anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing compliance. The latter places the responsibility and accountability for AML/CFT squarely on the Boards of Directors and Senior Management of accountable institutions.

The FIC has placed a press release on its website stating that the Minister of Finance has amended the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Control (MLTFC) Regulations and the Exemptions have been withdrawn. Both the MLTFC Regulations and the withdrawal of the Exemptions are effective as from 02 October 2017. Fortunately, one has a very good idea of where this is leading to, given the draft regulations and the public comment phase.

Whilst it is fair to expect some leniency from the Regulator and Supervisory Bodies in respect of the implementation of the new amendments, it is also prudent to note that a second mutual evaluation by FATF is due. South Africa will be under severe pressure to have implemented these legislative and regulatory amendments at the imminent mutual evaluation. It is therefore sensible for the Boards of Directors and Senior Management of accountable institutions to see to the speedy and proper implementation of these new amendments.

The fact of the matter is that on 02 October 2017, various and significant sections of the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act, became law. Are you ready to implement these amendments?

Article written by Adv Jan Augustyn for Consumer Profile BureauAdvocate Jan Augustyn has been a Regulator, and specifically an enforcer of compliance for over 15 years He has also witnessed the compliance challenges that industry faces through his consultation and legal representation over the last 3 years. Jan writes and conducts presentations on FICA and related issues. Jan has been appointed by Consumer Profile Bureau as their FICA Compliance counsel specialist.

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