The President assented to the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act, 2017 (“the Act”), on 26 April 2017. Certain sections of the Act came into operation on 13 June and also on 2 October 2017 while other sections of the Act will come into operation on a date still to be announced.
It is suggested that estate agency firms, as accountable institutions, carefully consider the changes introduced by the Act at the highest level of authority such as, for instance, by the board of directors, senior management or any other high level of authority within the enterprise.
The attention of estate agents is, furthermore, drawn to the fact that the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), in collaboration with National Treasury, the South African Reserve Bank and the Financial Services Board, has published Guidance Note 7 to support accountable institutions and supervisory bodies, such as the Estate Agency Affairs Board, in the better understanding and implementation of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, as amended.
Guidance Note 7, which is accessible from the FIC website at www.fic.org.za provides guidance on the following important aspects, namely:
- the adoption of a risk-based approach to performing customer due diligence, including risk assessment and risk mitigation measures;
- customer due diligence measures including establishing the identity of and verifying clients, beneficial ownership requirements, the position of prominent persons and ongoing due diligence;
- record keeping requirements;
- the development and implementation of a Risk Management and Compliance Programme; and
- the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions relating to the freezing of assets.
Estate agency firms, as accountable institutions, are urged not only fully to acquaint themselves with, but also to take active steps to implement, the provisions of the Act.
The Continuing Professional Development programme for 2018 will include an in-depth presentation on the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, as amended, and the implementation by accountable institutions of its requirements. The EAAB study material will also shortly be comprehensively amended to this end.
Issued by: The Estate Agency Affairs Board
Date: 02 February 2018