SARB fines VBS Mutual Bank and China Construction Bank R77.5m

South African Reserve Bank file photo

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) said on Tuesday that it had imposed R77.5 million in administrative penalties to two banks for failing to comply with the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Act and directed them to take remedial action to address the identified deficiencies.

The China Construction Bank Corporation and the embattled VBS Mutual Bank were penalized for not identifying and verifying customers’ details, failing to report certain cash transactions above R24,999.99, not keeping records of customer identification, and inadequate controls pertaining to the reporting of suspicious and unusual transactions.

The China Construction Bank Corporation was handed a R75 million financial penalty, with R20 million suspended for three years, while VBS, which is under curatorship, was handed a financial penalty of R2.5 million, with R2 million suspended for one year, and a directive to take remedial action. 

In its Bank Supervision Department annual report for 2017, Sarb emphasized though there was no evidence that both banks had facilitated transactions relating to money laundering and/or the financing of terrorism.

– African News Agency (ANA)