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Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 2001 (Act No. 38 of 2001)


Guidance Note 3

Guidance for Banks on Customer Identification and Verification and Related Matters


20. Clarification of partnership agreements and whether all partners in a partnership should be identified


In terms of Regulation 13(b)(i) of the Regulations, banks are required to identify all partners within a partnership.


In most instances, the interest of a prospective client to open an account will prompt the bank to obtain the information that it needs to undertake its KYC function in terms of the FIC Act and the Regulations.


In some instances, a bank would be able (and would even be expected) to obtain information from third parties in order to establish and/or verify a prospective client's identity. The bank must have policies and procedures at the account opening stage that are designed to capture all the relevant information.


The Centre cannot prescribe to banks the form that such procedures should take, but the Centre would expect such procedures to inform a prospective client that the relationship with the bank is dependent on them providing all required information (which, in the absence of a written partnership agreement would include disclosing all partners and identifying and verifying all disclosed partners).


Where two or more persons are co-signatories on an account the Centre expects those co-signatories to sign a declaration to the bank that they do not act as a partnership.


Decisions concerning account opening policies and procedures, in respect of whether confirmation of the identities of partners should be obtained from third parties, should be based on a bank's risk framework, referred to in paragraph 2, above.