AMENDMENT OF THE NOTICE ON QUALIFICATIONS, EXPERIENCE AND CRITERIA FOR APPROVAL AS COMPLIANCE OFFICER

By Kirsten Kern,Bright Tibane Friday, September 16, 2016
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On 31 August 2016, the Registrar of Financial Services Providers published Board Notice 148 of 2016 under the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS), entitled “Amendment of the Notice on Qualifications, Experience and Criteria for Approval as Compliance Officer” (Amendment Notice).

The Amendment Notice amends Board Notice 127 of 2010 under FAIS (Qualifications, Experience and Criteria for Approval as Compliance Officer) (BN 127) in order to give practical effect to the requirement under BN 127 that compliance officers are to take, and pass, prescribed regulatory examinations. In terms of the Amendment Notice, compliance officers are now required to pass the existing Level 1 regulatory examinations, currently applicable to the key individuals and appointed representatives of financial services providers (FSPs).

Compliance officers who were registered with the FSB on or before 31 August 2016 are required under the Amendment Notice to take and pass the prescribed regulatory examination by 31 August 2017. Notably, the requirement to take the regulatory examination apparently extends also to the compliance officers of all authorised foreign FSPs, whose key individuals and representatives may enjoy exemption from the regulatory examination requirements by virtue of the provisions of the Exemption of Foreign FSPs (Board Notice 166 of 2011 under FAIS) (Foreign FSP Exemption). This is owing to the fact that the Foreign FSP Exemption expressly exempts only the key individuals and representatives of certain foreign FSPs from the prescribed regulatory exams, and does not extend to compliance officers.

The Amendment Notice came into effect on 1 September 2016.

By Bright Tibane, senior associate, and Kirsten Kern, partner Banking & Finance Department, Bowmans South Africa