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STBB Newsflash | Renewed warning for estate agents: Don’t delay in submitting outstanding returns to the FIC

Over the weekend, the Law Society of South Africa held its annual general meeting (‘the LSSA AGM’). Unsurprisingly, compliance with the regulatory requirements of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (‘FICA’) – and the critical role of the legal profession in removing South Africa from the Financial Action Task Force’s (‘the FATF’) global grey list – was a key point on the agenda.

During the LSSA AGM, speakers and attendees emphasised the inherent vulnerability of legal practitioners and estate agents to the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing, and the necessity of diligent reporting. As part of the wider, jointly-agreed Action Plan to reverse South Africa’s grey list status, the FATF has given the FIC a May 2024 deadline to demonstrate an improvement in the supervision of designated non-financial professions and businesses, including attorneys and estate agents.

Consequently, the FIC’s primary concern is that many estate agents have not yet filed a Risk and Compliance Return (‘RCR’) in terms of Directive 6 for the year ending March 2023. Earlier in the year, the FIC advised that just 42% of the country’s 9 000 estate agents had submitted their reports. For the FIC, the expected compliance rate is 100% or, at the very least, just under 100%.

It is thus imperative that estate agents submit their outstanding RCRs as soon as possible to avoid administrative penalties, and to remain FICA-compliant. For now, the FIC has not yet called for the submission of RCRs for the year ending March 2024.

We encourage estate agents to contact us at for assistance in ensuring their compliance with the FIC’s reporting requirements.

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