COVID-19 IMPACT ON FICA OBLIGATIONS

A Joint Communication has been issued by, amongst others, the Financial Intelligence Centre, the Prudential Authority and the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (the Authorities) focusing on the compliance of Accountable Institutions (AIs) with their obligations in terms of the Financial Centre Intelligence Act, 38 of 2001 (FICA).

The Authorities recognise the impact of COVID-19 on the ability of AIs to comply with legislative obligations under FICA, particularly relating to ongoing customer due diligence.

The Authorities have emphasized that AIs should continue to use a risk-based approach to customer due diligence, prioritise medium to high risk clients and use technology, including Fintech, as far as possible to meet their legislative and regulatory obligations.

Where ‘in person’ interaction is necessary for ongoing due diligence, the Authorities expect AIs to implement plans and discussions to deal with these clients/transactions post-lockdown and communicate such plans in writing to the relevant supervisory body by 15 May 2020.

Where suspicious and unusual transactions or terrorist property reports in terms of section 29 and 28A of FICA respectively cannot be reported to the FIC timeously an extension can be sought for the applicable reporting period.  

To read the full the Joint communication, click here.

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