Banks

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said Friday it fined banks R46.5 million (about 3.6 million U.S. dollars) in 2016 for weaknesses in their control measures.

This is contained in the Bank Supervision Department (BSD) Annual Report for 2016, which was released on Friday. The banks were fined for not putting in places control measures.

Among the banks fined, the Standard Chartered bank Johannesburg Branch was slapped with a 0.8 million dollars fine for not verifying and identifying KYC (know your clients) requirements and failing to report certain cash transactions above 1,938 dollars to the Financial Intelligence Center (FIC).

The South African Bank of Athens was fined 0.23 million dollars, Habib Overseas Bank 77,000 dollars, Investec 1.6 million dollars and Societe Generale Johannesburg Branch 0.15 million dollars and suspended for two years.

The banks were ordered to take remedial actions. Absa was fined 0.78 million dollars and GSB Mutual Bank 38,000 dollars. Some banks failed to maintain the customer transnational records while some had inadequate controls and working methods pertaining to the reporting of suspicious and unusual transaction.

While the banking sector remained sound, the year-on-year growth rate in banking-sector assets declined in 2016, reaching a low level of 1 percent in December 2016.

The Central Bank also expressed concern over the pyramid schemes. Between January 2012 and December 2016 the Bank investigated a number of the illegal deposit-taking schemes. The Bank appointed temporary inspectors and in some cases repayment administrators in respect of 57 cases. In the last five years, 63 schemes were finalized. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh