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December 2019 saw the launch of South Africa’s first public private partnership, between the banking sector and government regulatory authorities, aimed at enhancing collaboration and co-ordination in combating financial crime, money laundering and terrorist financing.
Given the nature of their business, banks are at the frontline in identifying suspicious transactions. This sector tends to file over 80 percent of the suspicious and unusual transaction reports received by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC). The creation of a partnership to effectively, efficiently and timeously share information and improve law enforcements’ analytical capabilities represents a big step forward in the fight against financial crime and corruption.
The extent and complexity of fraud, corruption and organised crime activities in South Africa means that government cannot on its own tackle financial crimes. There is therefore an urgent need for a concerted and united response across government and the private sector to combat the scourge of financial crimes. Ultimately, it is in the country’s best interest to ensure that the financial system is protected from abuse by criminals and that it continues to contribute to sustainable economic growth in the country.
At the inaugural meeting of the South African Anti-Money Laundering Integrated Task Force (SAMLIT), members expressed their commitment to sharing resources and information in efforts to prevent, detect and disrupt financial crime. SAMLIT’s launch follows several months of planning and discussion led by the FIC and endorsed by the National Treasury and the Prudential Authority of the South African Reserve Bank.
Signatories to SAMLIT, who also attended the inaugural meeting, include the FIC, major and smaller banks, the National Treasury, the Prudential Authority, the Banking Association South Africa and the South African Banking Risk Information Centre.
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