Wednesday, October 28, 2020

South Africa fines five banks for lax anti-money laundering controls

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The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) has imposed administrative sanctions on five banks, instructing them to take remedial action.

The central bank said that it found weaknesses in each of the bank’s money laundering control measures.

This followed routine inspections conducted in terms of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica).

The Act mandates the prudential authority to assess whether banks have appropriate and adequate measures and money in place to enforce compliance.

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The reserve bank imposed the administrative sanctions on Standard Bank, Grobank, Ubank Limited, Bank of China and HBZ Bank Limited.

The bank has moved to clarify that this was not because the said institutions were found to have facilitated transactions involving money laundering or the financing of terrorism.

Standard Bank has been fined R30 million and a directive to take remedial action for failure to comply with suspicious and unusual transaction reporting requirements.

R7.5 million of that has been suspended for three years subject to Standard Bank adhering to certain conditions.

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The reserve bank said that all the banks were cooperating with its officials and have agreed to the necessary measures to address the identified compliance deficiencies and control weaknesses.

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