How to sail through the Fica process

It can be te­dious but the reg­u­la­tion is there for your pro­tec­tion. Here’s what you need to know

YOU (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - BY LETI­TIA WAT­SON Send sug­ges­tions for top­ics and re­quests for info to your­money@you.co.za. We may an­swer your ques­tions in this col­umn but won’t re­ply per­son­ally.

IF YOU en­ter into any kind of fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tion – from cell­phone con­tracts and cloth­ing ac­counts to rent­ing prop­erty or open­ing a bank ac­count – you have to com­ply with the Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Cen­tre Act (Fica). This means you have to sup­ply cer­tain doc­u­ments re­flect­ing your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion. It sounds like a schlep, but the law ex­ists for a good rea­son.

Fica was in­tro­duced in 2003 to com­bat fi­nan­cial crimes and cor­rup­tion, and it brought South African law in line with sim­i­lar leg­is­la­tion in other coun­tries. All fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions now leave a pa­per trail that can be fol­lowed.

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