Finance regulator bill ‘too onerous’

By Staff Writer

By Linda Ensor

The bid by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) to tighten the regulation of the financial services and other sectors has met with a chorus of objections.

Banks, short- and long-term insurers, the auditing profession, lawyers, estate agents, accountants and casinos have expressed grave concern about aspects of the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill, which is the subject of public hearings by Parliament’s finance committee.

The aim of the bill is to strengthen the enforcement and regulatory powers of the FIC, which was established to track suspicious transactions, and combat money-laundering and the financing of terrorist activities. But business is critical of the proposals for concentrating power within the FIC.

The proposed administrative penalties for non-compliance, of up to a maximum of R10m for natural persons or R50m for legal persons, in addition to criminal sanctions, were criticised as too onerous.

A clause that raised objections across the board was one giving all directives, orders or determinations issued by the FIC the status of a law without their being subjected to scrutiny by Parliament and without the obligation to consult.

Many submissions said this was unconstitutional.

Casino Association of SA CE Derek Auret said the provisions had “the effect of transforming the FIC and supervisory bodies (into) legislator, judge, jury and executioner”.

In his submission, Banking Association of SA CEO Cas Coovadia said the bill seemed to be creating a “super-regulator” over the existing supervisory bodies. Inevitably, he said, the increased cost of compliance with all the laws and regulations and the multiplicity of registration requirements for accountable institutions would have to be borne by consumers.

Absa group general counsel Johannes Gouws said: “The bill in its current form does not aim to combat crime; it simply augments compliance obligations.”

The Reserve Bank and the registrar of banks were concerned about “the extent to which supervisory bodies may be exposed to liability under the amendment bill”.

Recent Articles

Featured Register your customary marriage or lose the right to inherit estate

December is that time of the year when we will see at least one suitor sending his uncles to negotiate the price of his future wife. Lobola, as the bride price is known, has always been an important element of the African marriage.

Read more

Changing from one medical scheme to another - effortlessly

It is coming up to the end of the year and you might be looking to change medical schemes, or options within a scheme in preparation for the new year. While you don’t necessarily have to wait for year-end to do so, providers often recommend it.

Read more

Your guide to financially surviving Christmas

There are a few times each year where you need to dig deeper into your pocket and spend more money such as birthdays, anniversaries, and the Christmas period. Whether you celebrate this religious holiday or not, the festive period - depending on how you choose to spend it - means increased travelling, buying of gifts, entertaining, and eating out at restaurants.


Read more

Trump, Trump and a little bit of South Africa

What a November we had, with the rand staging one of its best months and closing below the R14.00 level. To be honest, this looked like quite a far-fetched possibility at one stage during the month. It seems that the tide has changed a little, even though it might be short lived since the US dollar bulls are not so sure of their case anymore.

Read more

Sign Up

To our weekly newsletter for advice you can bank on

Deals

Free iCollege Scholarship

Price: R600
When: Until 16 May 2019
Where: Nationwide

Telkom December Big Deal

Price: R459 pm
When: Until 31 December
Where: Nationwide

Money Savvy Kids Giveaway

Price: R450
When: 8 December
Where: Johannesburg (Milpark)