The property sector has been identified as being at risk of being abused by money launderers. This sector has been used to hide funds and as a vehicle to help criminals introduce their proceeds into the financial system.
The property space has the potential for criminals to put into practice all three aspects of typical money laundering activity: placement, laying and integration. Furthermore, they can clean or hide large amounts of money in a single transaction. The purchase of a dwelling, plot or building for a large sum of money, for example, may not raise too many alarm bells. For these reasons, estate agents can become easy targets for criminals wanting to use them to launder their illicit funds. Given that estate agents are familiar with their industry, their clients’ behaviour and their habits, these industry experts are also best suited to identify when certain behaviour is suspicious or unusual.
Central to being listed under Schedule 1 of the FIC Act as accountable institutions, estate agents are required to fulfil seven obligations to achieve compliance with the FIC Act.
The amendments to the FIC Act commenced on 2 October 2017. As an estate agent, you should already be working to comply with the new requirements. After April 2019, if you are found to be non-compliant by your supervisory body, enforcement processes will commence. This may involve remedial action and/or penalties.
Penalties for non-compliance can include administrative sanctions and criminal prosecution. This may amount to a maximum of 15 years in prison or a fine not exceeding R100 million. Penalties will depend on the contravention and the severity of the offence.
FIC-M1: Orientation Video
FIC-M3: RMCP Template
FIC-M4: Add-On Resource Material
FIC Compliance Course includes:
- Orientation video
- Video simply explaining the full FICA property practitioner requirements
- RMCP template to adapt to your agency
- Add-On Resource Material: Templates and other pertinent material
- Quiz: Complete a short quiz and achieve 70% compliancy and a PropAcademy Certificate of Attendance
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