In 2017, the South African Reserve Bank fined two banks a combined R77.5m owing to their failure to comply with the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Act. According to the annual report by the bank supervision department, released on Tuesday, the central bank fined the China Construction Bank and VBS Mutual Bank for failing to identify and verify customers’ details. The two institutions were also penalised for failing to report certain cash transactions above R24,999.99 and for not having proper controls and working methods when it came to the reporting of suspicious transactions. The Johannesburg branch of the China Construction Bank received the brunt of the fine of R75m, with R20m being suspended for a period of three years.

The Venda-based VBS bank was fined R2.5m, of which R2m was suspended for a year. VBS bank is the same bank that granted former president Jacob Zuma a R7.9m loan for his Nkandla home. The bank is presently in curatorship. The report said the two banks ...

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