The SA Reserve Bank, Pretoria. File Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
The SA Reserve Bank, Pretoria. File Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

The SA Reserve Bank has imposed administrative sanctions on three foreign-exchange dealers based on weaknesses in their control measures to detect financial crimes. 

Tower Bureau de Change, Sikhona Forex and Travelex Africa Foreign Exchange are authorised dealers in foreign exchange with limited authority (ADLA), which are regulated by the Reserve Bank. They are authorised to deal only in certain foreign-exchange transactions, including travel-related transactions.

The Bank has a mandate to ensure that these exchanges have adequate controls in place to combat acts of money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

“It should be noted that the administrative sanctions were imposed because of certain weaknesses that were detected in their control measures which inhibited the ADLAs from proactively detecting financial crime and not because they were found to have facilitated transactions involving money laundering or the financing of terrorism,” the Bank said in a statement on Tuesday.

Tower Bureau de Change received a financial penalty of R100,000 for failing to implement suitable steps to screen the names of its clients against sanction lists, R80,000 for failing to sufficiently verify the identity of its clients and a further R100,000 for failing to report suspicious and unusual transactions.

Sikhona Forex was issued with a warning to not to repeat its failure of verifying the identity of its clients and to sufficiently keep records of business relationships and transactions.

Travelex Africa Foreign Exchange received a warning not to repeat its failure to identify and report suspicious and unusual transactions and was instructed to provide training to its employees as remedial action.