South Africa’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation is shifting to align with global regulation in this regard. It is therefore a good time to prepare your business now to comply with FICA. It is also prudent to comply with regulation, as the FIC imposes monetary penalties and possible imprisonment in respect of non-compliance.
Masthead offers a wide range of FICA compliance services to all Accountable Institutions which includes FICA training for your employees, hands-on assistance with the implementation of FICA requirements in your business and support services when preparing for a FIC Inspection.
We assist the following with FICA compliance solutions:
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FICA is an abbreviation for the Financial Intelligence Centre Act 38 of 2001 (as amended). The Act was instituted in order to fight financial crime such as money laundering, fraud, tax evasion, terrorist financing activities and identity theft. The Act was amended in 2017 to bring South Africa in line with international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force in combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
FICA Amendment Act
On 19 June 2020, the proposed amendments to Schedules 1, 2 and 3 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) were published for public comment. The proposed amendments seek to align FICA with the current International Standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and recent legislative amendments.
The provisions are yet to come into effect; however, it is not too early to prepare so that you comply with the obligations of the amendments to FICA.
Who will be impacted by these amendments?
The FIC amendments will impact all Accountable Institutions including FSPs, Legal Practitioners, Property Practitioners (Estate Agents). Motor Vehicle Dealers and High-Value Goods Dealers will also be impacted. In a step to regulate cryptocurrencies, Crypto Asset Service Providers (CASPs) are also included in the amendments.
For a summary of the proposed FICA amendments, click here.
FICA is a legal framework which exists to help identify the proceeds of unlawful activities and to combat activities related to money laundering, terrorist funding and tax evasion. Various control measures within FICA aim to ensure the detection and investigation of money laundering.
Some of the key control measures in FICA require that:
The Act applies to all Accountable and Reporting Institutions as defined in schedule 1 of the Act must comply with the requirements set out in the Act. Amongst those listed are financial services providers, attorneys, trustees and executors, estate agents, motor dealers, investment management companies, bankers and more.