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Fica amendment proposed to take account of Property Practitioners Act

The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) has published a draft public compliance communication with a view to amending Schedule 1 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica) to take account of the creation of “property practitioners” in terms of the Property Practitioners Act.

Item 3 of Schedule 1 to Fica lists an estate agent, as defined in the Estate Agency Affairs Act, as an accountable institution. The Estate Agency Affairs Act was repealed by the Property Practitioners Act with effect from 1 February 2022.

The Property Practitioners Act defines “property practitioners” broadly and includes persons who perform activities that fall under the now-repealed definition of “estate agent”. In addition, property practitioners include certain auctioneers, managing agents, business brokers, trustees, bond or mortgage originators and bond brokers, property developers, people who sell or market time share or fractional ownership, and homeowners’ associations.

The FIC said in its view, the broader category of persons who are property practitioners do not automatically become accountable institutions unless they perform an activity that is equivalent to that of an “estate agent” in the Estate Agency Affairs Act.

It said that in order for all property practitioners to be regarded as accountable institutions, Schedule 1 to Fica will have to be amended to include “property practitioners”.

In terms of section 73 of Fica, the Minister of Finance may propose amendments to Schedule 1. Where a category of persons or institutions will be affected by the proposed amendment, the minister must consult the FIC and, by notice in the Government Gazette, give persons or institutions belonging to that category at least 60 days’ notice to submit written representations to the minister.

Click here to download Draft Public Compliance Communication 117.

Comments must be submitted by Friday, 19 August, using this online form only.

Any questions or requests relating to draft PCC 117 must be emailed to consult@fic.gov.za.

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