FICA

Financial Intelligence Centre Act

Overview
Adult individuals
Other parties
FAQs

Internationally, governments have agreed to fight organised crime and terrorism by, among others, seizing the proceeds of crime and making money laundering a criminal offence. Since the 1980s many countries have passed laws that demonstrate their commitment to this effort.

South Africa has also adopted money laundering laws to help it comply with its international obligations to fight organised crime and terrorism.

Our obligations
Our main legal obligations are contained in three pieces of legislation:

  • The Banks Act 94 of 1990
  • The Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1998 (Poca)
  • The Financial Intelligence Centre Act 38 of 2001 (Fica)

The latest and most comprehensive legislation detailing money laundering controls is the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica), the focus of which is on control requirements.

Fica creates money laundering control obligations for banks and other institutions and professionals, such as estate agents, brokers, attorneys and insurance companies.

Customer identification is a crucial element of any effective money laundering control system. We must implement reasonable measures for us to know who our customers are and to prevent criminals from using false or stolen identities to gain access to our services.

Since 1 July 2003 banks were required to obtain certain information and supporting documents from new customers before accounts could be opened. Furthermore, Fica requires that banks re-identify their existing customers (those taken on before 1 July 2003).

Our commitment
We are committed to ensuring that our Fica re-identification or process is done in a responsible manner.

We have set up an infrastructure aimed at contacting our customers and encouraging you to come into our branches to verify your details. Should you have not yet have been contacted by our staff, however, we recommend you that you visit your nearest branch at your earliest convenience with the appropriate documents.

What you need to do
You need to supply us with documents that allow us to verify your identity. The information and documents required vary depending on whether you are our customer on a personal individual capacity or part of an entity. These categories are further broken down. Please click on the category for more on what we'd need. We may request additional documents and information besides those listed below depending on the type of account opened.

Citizens of South Africa or foreign nationals with permanent residence
Adult individuals who are citizens of South Africa or foreign nationals who are permanently resident in South Africa must supply us with these documents. If you wish to provide any third party with signing powers on your account or if you are going to provide any third party with a secondary card, these individuals will need to provide a copy of their identity document as well as their contact details.

Acceptable verification documents

Identification

  • Identity document issued by the Republic of South Africa
  • Valid passport (if foreign national)

Residential address
You can provide any one of the documents showing your name and residential address. Unless otherwise stipulated, the documents must show your full residential address and not a post box address:

  • A utility bill (less than three months old). Where a customer's utility bill (i.e. a local authority bill) is addressed to their post office box number, the bill may be accepted as verification of the customer's residential address if their name, erf or stand number and township are reflected on the utility bill and the township details correspond with the suburb they live in.
  • A bank statement or financial statement or official correspondence from another financial institution not within the Standard Bank Group (less than three months old).
  • A copy of a lease or rental agreement signed by both parties (less than one year old).
  • A municipal rates and taxes invoice (less than three months old).
  • A mortgage statement from another financial institution not within the Standard Bank Group (less than six months old).
  • A telephone account that is a land-line or cell-phone (less than three months old).
  • An official tax return or tax assessment (less than one year old).
  • Official correspondence from the South African Receiver of Revenue Services [SARS] less than three months old
  • A life insurance policy issued by an insurance company (less than one year old).
  • Correspondence from a body corporate or share-block association (less than three months old)
  • A valid television licence document or renewal document with the card attached (less than one year old).
  • A short-term insurance policy or a renewal letter (less than one year old).
  • A retail account statement or official correspondence (less than three months old).
  • A valid medical aid statement or official correspondence (less than three months old).
  • A valid agreement from a security company reflecting the residential address at which an alarm is installed (less than one year old).
  • An official correspondence from a security company reflecting the residential address at which an alarm is installed (less than three months old)
  • A fine issued by the South African Metro Police Services (less than three months old).
  • A letter from a tribal chief where the person lives (only for customers who have a net income of R5,000-00 or less per month)

Cohabitant or spouse of a homeowner
It may be that you live with another person, such as a spouse or life partner, and your name is not reflected on any of the documents required. Proof of the relationship between you and that person must be provided together with a relevant verification document reflecting the homeowner's name and the residential address.

In the case of a husband and wife, a marriage certificate is an acceptable document to prove the relationship between the co-habitants.

In all other cases, written confirmation is required from the homeowner confirming:

  • The relationship between the co-habitants
  • The residential address that is shared
  • The name, date of birth and identity number of the person signing the written confirmation;
  • The name of the prospective customer

Students
If you are a student residing at a student residence, hostel or boarding house and are unable to provide proof from the homeowner, a written statement from the educational institution or the residence, hostel or boarding house confirming your residence at the physical address of such residence is acceptable.

There are different requirements for verifying the identity of foreign nationals with temporary residence, minors, partnerships, close corporations, listed companies, unlisted companies, trusts and other legal persons.

We may ask for additional information and documents besides those listed below, depending on the type of account being opened.

Select the category for details of documents required.

  • Adult individuals who are foreign nationals and not permanently resident in South Africa
  • Minors
  • Partnerships
  • Close corporations
  • Listed company
  • Unlisted company
  • Trusts
  • Other legal persons

Q: I don't have a document reflecting my residential address. What now?
A: A utility bill (such as that which you get for water and lights) should show your property's stand/erf number. We are able to accept this as long as your name is on it.

If you are living with the person who owns or rents the home, they should confirm to us in writing the relationship between the two of you, the address and their date of birth and identity number. This must be accompanied by an acceptable document showing their name and residential address. Here is a template for the letter.

A married couple need only present their marriage certificate.

Q: I have several accounts at Standard Bank. Do I need to go through this process for every account?
A: No. As long as your accounts are all held within Standard Bank, then you only need to go through this process once. Stanlib accounts are unfortunately not included in this process.

Q: By when does the bank need to verify my identity?
A: There are various categories of customers need to be re-identified within different timelines. However, the bulk has a deadline of September 2005.

Q: What happens if I do not bring in the necessary documents?
A: FICA requires us to restrict the transactions on your account.

Q: I don't have a Telkom account. Is my cellphone account acceptable instead?
A: Yes.