THE FIC ACT...WHAT IS IT? WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
Category Residential Property News
The aim of this Act is as important to us, as Wakefields, as it is to you as buyers and sellers.
In a nutshell, FICA (Financial Intelligence Centre) has two goals: to prevent money laundering, and the financing of terrorism. Today, the Act's amendment compels organisations such as Wakefields, to play a role by identifying and assessing the risk that our clients might - during their relationship with us - be involved in these activities.
How do we do that? When accepting a seller's property mandate, or when, with a buyer, monies are likely to change hands, we are legally compelled to apply more intensive questioning.
You may feel the questioning is excessive, but rather think about it this way. Be concerned if you're NOT questioned, and if your estate agent doesn't ask you those details, call them out on it.
What is the FICA and how do the changes affect the Real Estate industry?
The Financial Intelligence Centre Act 38 of 2001 (FICA) was designed to enable authorities to better understand the movement of money in order to expose proceeds of unlawful activities. The amendments to the FIC Act make it mandatory for real estate agencies (and others) to apply a structured approach to verify the identities of Buyers and Sellers. The goal is to assess the risk that our clients might be seeking to launder money or to finance terrorism.
Where does this impact our Buyers or Sellers?
Expect more focussed questioning regarding aspects of employment history, associate relationships as well as your capacity to act on behalf of a person or company.
Estate Agencies are certainly not trying to elongate the process, but rather act with integrity and walk the line of global responsibility.
If your Estate Agency does not ask the deeper questions, why aren't they?
Author: Anne Schauffer