The Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act is designed to make the South African financial system intolerant to abuse in the form money laundering and the financing of terrorism and bring South Africa in line with international standards that have been established relating to anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.

Measures to strengthen anti-money laundering and the combatting of terrorist financing regulatory framework in the Amendment Act include:

  • Requiring the identification of beneficial owners to prevent natural persons from misusing legal entities for nefarious purposes like evading tax.
  • Enhancing the customer due diligence requirements that will ensure that entities fully understand the nature and potential risk posed by their customers.
  • Providing for the adoption of a risk-based approach in the identification and assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing risks, and assist in making customer compliance easier.
  • Providing for the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions relating to the freezing of assets relating to persons associated with terrorism.
  • Safeguarding information in line with the Protection of Personal Information Act.

The FICA Bill has been assented to by President Jacob Zuma, and published in the Government Gazette on 2 May 2017. Krevania Pillay, an associate at Hogan Lovells, joined David Williams on Closing Bell, which airs on CNBC Africa, to provide more insight into the key effects and implementation of the Bill.