From CompliNEWS | Financial Service Intelligence Watch

FICA changes come into effect

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has, by notice in the Government Gazette, announced that two sections of the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act, 2017, came into effect on 18 August, reports Wyndham Hartley for CompliNEWS.

Section 6 changes the title of the principal Act’s Chapter 3 while Section 43 creates new offences in terms of electronic money transfers.

Section 6 amends the heading of the principal Act’s Chapter 3 to: ‘Money laundering, financing of terrorist and related activities and financial sanctions control measures’.

Section 43 inserts a new section 56 into the Act which now provides that the failure of an accountable institution to report the prescribed information in respect of an electronic transfer of money is not only guilty of an offence but also non-compliant, and subject to an administrative sanction.

Compli-Serve notes that section 31 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) in South Africa primarily deals with the reporting of electronic transfers. The act aims to combat money laundering, the financing of terrorist activities, and other related offenses.

Here’s a brief overview:

  • Reporting of Electronic Transfers – Accountable institutions are required to report information about electronic transfers to the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC). This includes both cross-border and domestic electronic transfers.
  • Thresholds – The act may specify certain thresholds for reporting. Transfers below this threshold might not need to be reported, but this depends on the specific regulations in place at the time.
  • Exemptions – Certain electronic transfers might be exempt from reporting, based on criteria set out in the act or its regulations.
  • Details Required – The act requires specific details to be provided in the report, ensuring that each electronic transfer can be adequately traced andmonitored. This typically includes details about the sender, recipient, the amount, the source and destination accounts, and other relevant transaction details.
  • Timeframe – There’s usually a specified timeframe within which the electronic transfer report must be submitted to the FIC after the transfer takes place.
  • Penalties for Non-compliance – Institutions that fail to report as required by Section 31 might face penalties, which could include fines or other legal consequences.
  • Protection from Liability – Persons who submit reports in good faith, based on their suspicion of illicit activity, are typically protected from legal action related to the disclosure of that information.