Financial Intelligence Centre Act

Introduction to the Financial Intelligence Centre Act

The Financial Intelligence Centre Act (38 of 2001) (the FIC Act) came into effect on the 1st of July 2003. The FIC Act was introduced to fight financial crime, such as money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorist financing activities.

The FIC Act brings South Africa in line with similar legislation in other countries designed to reveal the movement of monies derived from unlawful activities and thereby curbing money laundering and other criminal activities.

Background to the Financial Intelligence Centre Act

The G7 summit meeting in 1989 established an inter-governmental body known as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). FATF was set up to evaluate the effectiveness of local and international money laundering control structures. In addition, the Financial Action Task Force was commissioned with setting standards and promoting effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

Pressure from the FATF and the international environment to implement effective money laundering control legislation led to the development of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act. South Africa’s commitment to the implementation of TATF recommendations codified in FICA meant South Africa became the first African country to become a fully-fledged member of FATF. South Africa was accepted as a member of the FATF in June 2003 after it was evaluated and found to have developed a comprehensive legal structure to combat money laundering activities.

In 2008, the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act made several changes to the original Act. The Amendment Act defines or further defines certain words and expressions; clarifies the application of the Act in relation to other laws; extends the objectives and functions of the Centre; changes the name of the Money Laundering Advisory Council to the Counter-Money Laundering Advisory Council; clarifies certain provisions; updates references to legislation; provides for the sharing of information by the Centre and supervisory bodies; provides for the issuance of directives by the Centre and supervisory bodies; provides for the registration of accountable and reporting institutions to clarify the roles and responsibilities of supervisory bodies ; provides for written arrangements relating to the respective roles and responsibilities of the Centre and supervisory bodies; authorises the Centre and supervisory bodies to conduct inspections; regulates certain applications to court; provides for administrative sanctions that may be imposed by the Centre and supervisory bodies; establishes an appeal board to hear appeals against decisions of the Centre or supervisory bodies; makes further provision for offences; and provides for matters connected therewith.

Contact details from the Financial Intelligence Centre:

Financial Intelligence Centre


Mail: Private Bag X177



South Africa


Street: 2nd Floor Lakeside Building A

53 Embankment Street





Tel: +27 12 641 6000

Fax: +27 12 641 6215




Compliance and Prevention

Tel: +27 86 022 2200

Fax: +27 86 033 3336


Tel: +27 (11) 645 6700
Fax: +27 (11) 645 6800