Ms. Monkwe, formerly with FNB, had been under scrutiny for her actions concerning the completion of blank municipal letters, an activity alleged to breach both the bank’s Know Your Client (KYC) requirements and section 21 of FICA.

Ms. Monkwe countered these claims before the FST. She highlighted that the bank’s common practice, as evidenced by Mr. Masemole, involved the Municipality issuing these letters. She cited a precedent, *Matshoba v Fry Metals*, which indicated an unfair dismissal if an employer had not previously acted against similar offences. She also noted that FNB hadn’t sufficiently weighed the surrounding situations as mandated by section 9(3) of BN of 2017. Monkwe emphasized her intention to collect accurate client information and noted that any retraction she made concerning forgery admissions would not harm FNB.

However, FNB changed their stance and didn’t pursue claims of fraud. They acknowledged that Ms. Monkwe did complete the municipal letters but underscored that she failed in verifying customer details. They reminded that Monkwe was trained in FICA requirements and her actions risked significant monetary and reputational damage to the bank. FNB cited several cases and legal provisions to emphasize the importance of their representatives upholding integrity and maintaining professional standards.

The FST, in making its judgment, acknowledged the late submission of Ms. Monkwe’s arguments but allowed it since FNB did not contest them. They also emphasized the importance of representatives maintaining honesty and integrity in the financial sector. The FST did not see the withdrawal notice Monkwe relied upon as a valid settlement agreement and pointed out that FNB had indeed disciplined other employees for similar misconduct.

The FST ultimately determined that Ms. Monkwe had been dishonest, misrepresented information, and failed to meet the required standards as an FNB agent. Despite her claims, there was no solid evidence that FNB had directed her to use the blank municipal letters, and even if they had, her actions were still contrary to banking regulations. As such, the FST did not see any reasons to overturn the debarment decision.

In conclusion, the FST granted the condonation for the late filing but dismissed the reconsideration application.

Several legal provisions and case precedents were considered in this judgment, including the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, the Board Notice 194 of 2017, and the Financial Intelligence Sector Act, among others.

You can review the case summary here.