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South African Banks Freeze High Risk Accounts

by Robert Lee, for LawAndTax-News.com, London

01 February 2005


Today's deadline for the freezing of bank accounts held in South Africa by 'high risk' customers who have not presented their banks with adequate identification is being rigidly enforced across the board, according to reports in the national media.

In an effort to combat money laundering under the auspices of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, bank customers had been given until June 30 last year to re-identify themselves. However, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel extended the deadline, introducing staggered limits for the various types of business and individual bank customers.

The Financial Intelligence Centre last week ordered banks to freeze by today the accounts of those customers designated 'high risk' who have failed to assist in the know your customer (KYC) initiative.

According to a Business Day report on the matter, ABSA (Amalgamated Banks of South Africa) revealed last week that more than 90% of its high priority customers had presented the required documents, leaving just a small number of accounts to be frozen today.

Nedcor reported a similarly high success rate, announcing that around 97% of its high risk customers had complied with the anti-money laundering regulations.


To see today's news, click here.

 















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