What is FICA and its importance for you as a potential client?
In 2001, the South African government introduced the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (“FICA”) and other applicable Anti Money Laundering and Countering of the Financing of Terrorism legislation to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. FICA contains a number of control measures aimed at facilitating the detection and investigation of money laundering and terrorist financing and imposes specific responsibilities on accountable institutions that relate to commencing a business relationship with a client as well as during the lifecycle of the business relationship.
Together with all other firms of attorneys in South Africa, Marlon Shevelew and Associates Inc is an “accountable institution” in terms of FICA and the Act contains stringent requirements with which we are obliged to comply. We adhere to all the obligations imposed by FICA and its regulations.
Our obligations in terms of FICA include the following:
- To establish and verify the identity of our clients;
- To keep records of business relations and transactions;
- To report receipts of cash above a prescribed amount to the Financial Intelligence Centre;
- To report suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Centre;
- To implement internal rules consistent with our obligations under FICA;
- To offer compulsory FICA training to all our employees; and
- To appoint a compliance officer.
We request your assistance in complying with our obligations. Whilst we appreciate that the client identification and verification process may not always be convenient, we are not permitted to establish a business relationship or conclude a single transaction with a client (ie act on behalf of a client) unless the prescribed steps have been taken to identify and verify the identity of that client.
We may refuse to accept an instruction from a client until such time as the prescribed information and documents have been provided to us. Please contact us on the email address below should you have any questions with regard to our client identification and verification process or your obligations in terms of FICA: firstname.lastname@example.org