South Africa – SARB Sanctions China Bank

On 2 February, SARB imposes sanctions on China Construction Bank.

  • South African Reserve Bank (SARB) imposes administrative sanctions on China Construction Bank Corp.
  • Johannesburg Branch for non-compliance with the Financial Intelligence Centre Act 38 of 2001 (FIC), as amended.
  • SARB has directed the Bank to take remedial action.

SARB Inspection

  • SARB conducted an inspection in terms of the FIC Act and found weaknesses in the Bank's anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism control measures.
  • FIC Act mandates the SARB ensures banks have adequate controls. To combat acts of money laundering and financing of terrorism.
  • Flowing from these responsibilities, SAERB inspects banks to assess if they have appropriate measures in place as required by the FIC Act.
  • Sanctions were not imposed because the Bank was found to have facilitated such transactions. Rather, they were imposed because of weaknesses in the Bank's control measures.

Administrative Sanctions Imposed on Bank

  • The China Construction Bank was assessed R75 million penalty, must take remedial action, including identifying and verifying customer details (KYC requirements).
  • Better comply with record keeping requirements in terms of section 22 of FIC Act.
  • Show better compliance with cash threshold reporting requirements, section 28 of Act.
  • Be able going forward to formulate/implement adequate processed to detect, report property associated with terrorist and related activities, section 28A of FIC Act.
  • Be able to meet suspicious and unusual transaction reporting requirements, section 29.

Suspension of Part of Penalty

  • R20 million of the financial penalty is suspended for three years from Nov. 28, 2017, subject to the Bank adhering to certain conditions imposed by the SARB.
  • The Bank is cooperating, has taken measures to address the identified compliance weaknesses.