Sarb imposes administrative sanctions on two banks

The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) has imposed administrative sanctions on Société Générale Johannesburg Branch (Société Générale) and Absa Bank Limited (Absa), directing the two banks to take remedial action. This was after the SARB conducted inspections in terms of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FIC Act) and found weaknesses in the anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism control measures of both entities.

For Société Générale, the administrative sanctions include a financial penalty of R2 million and a directive to take remedial action in identifying and verifying customers' details and maintaining customer and transactional records as prescribed. The financial penalty is, however, suspended in terms of section 45C(4)(c) of the FIC Act, for a period of two years from 27 October 2016, subject to Société Générale adhering to certain conditions imposed by the SARB.

For Absa, the sanctions include a financial penalty of R10 million and a directive to take remedial action in certain identified weaknesses in the bank's controls and working methods pertaining to transaction monitoring.

Société Générale and Absa are cooperating with the SARB and have taken measures to address the identifiedcompliance deficiencies and control weaknesses.

Pictured: Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the Sarb