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FSCA grants several extensions amidst COVID-19 chaos

26 March 2020 Myra Knoesen

On Tuesday 24 March, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) released a notice, FSCA communication 9 of 2020, granting a number of extensions and arrangements in respect of submission of statutory returns and fit and proper related deadlines.

Acknowledgements by the Authority

In the communication the FSCA (the Authority) acknowledges the impact of the COVID-19 on South Africa in general, and the financial services industry specifically.

The Authority is aware of the challenges the regulated entities might face in complying with various regulatory requirements.

As a result, the Authority communicated various arrangements in respect of submission of statutory returns and fit and proper related deadlines.

The Authority is concerned with the current situation and open to specific challenges facing the industry, as such the Authority will do its best to accommodate anyone that is experiencing problems in complying with specific regulatory requirements because of the impact of COVID-19.

Here are some important extensions. Read the full communication for all the dates.

Financial statements in respect of the FAIS Act

The Authority will extend the period for submission of certain financial statements by 4 months, irrespective of any extensions that may already have been granted to individual FSPs.

This extension will not apply to FSPs that are registered Banks as defined in section 1 of the Banks Act, registered insurers as defined in section 1 of the Insurance Act, or authorised users as defined in section 1 of the Financial Markets Act.

The extended submission dates that will be provided for are set out in the communication.

Submission of statutory returns in respect of CISCA

The Authority will extend the period for submission of financial statements, in respect of

Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) Managers and every portfolio of the collective investment scheme that are administered by the CIS managers, by 3 months. This extension will exclude all listed portfolios. The extended submission dates that will be provided for are set out in the communication.

The table above applies to all CIS Managers that are required to submit their annual financial statements between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020, regardless of whether an extension was already applied for and granted. The normal submission requirements for reports will apply. Read the full communication for more detail.

Further extensions

The submission of the Conduct of Business Returns due by 30 April 2020 will be extended by 1 month and will now be due by 31 May 2020.

The submission of the annual returns, in terms of the Pension Funds Act, for the section 13 B Administrators will be extended with an additional three months as follows:

  • Annual returns due on 31 March 2020 must now be submitted by 30 June 2020;
  • Annual returns due on 30 April 2020 must now be submitted by 31 July 2020; and
  • Annual returns due on 31 May 2020 must now be submitted on 31 August 2020.

The Authority will extend the period for submission of financial statements by pension funds by three months. The extended submission dates that will be provided for are set out in the communication.

The Authority will extend the period for submission of valuation reports by pension funds by three months, in line with the extension for financial statements. Valuation reports must be submitted within six months from the extended submission date of the financial statements.

The Authority will extend the submission of financial statements, reports and statistics to be furnished by all registered friendly societies with a period of three months. The submission date will therefore be 30 September 2020.

Fit and Proper requirements

All Regulatory Examinations with a deadline for 2020 will be extended to a deadline of 15 December 2020.

Due to the President’s announcement on 23 March 2020, declaring a nationwide lockdown from midnight 25 March 2020 to midnight 16 April 2020, Regulatory Examinations will be suspended for the time being (the Announcement). The situation will be monitored and further clarity will be communicated in due course regarding Regulatory Examinations post-16 April 2020.

In light of the Announcement, all exams that have already been scheduled to take place between 26 March 2020 and 16 April 2020 will have to be postponed.

The FSCA is also currently in discussions with Moonstone to consider the extent to which it is feasible to roll out an online format for Regulatory Examinations. Further information in this regard will be communicated in due course, where relevant.

Class of business training, product specific training and qualifications

Class of Business (COB) training deadlines that were due for completion in 2020 will be extended to a deadline of 15 December 2020. FSPs will have to extend the supervision period for such affected representatives.

As there are no deadlines linked to product specific training, no extensions are necessary. However, please note that representatives may not render financial services if they have not received training on the products they render financial services against.

All qualification deadlines that were due for completion during 2020 will be extended to a deadline of 15 December 2020. This date will be subject to review.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

Due to the cancellation of many CPD activities in March and April, FSPs, key individuals and representatives are  granted an additional three months (until 31 August 2020) to meet the CPD requirements for this cycle (2019/2020 CPD cycle).

The CPD requirements for the 2020/21 CPD cycle will start on 1 September 2020 and end on 31 May 2021. The CPD hours for this cycle will be calculated on a pro-rata basis, i.e. calculated for 9 months instead of 12 months, and will be reduced pro rata with three months.

The FSCA supports any individual efforts to achieve CPD hours in alternative methods to face-to-face events, which include webinars and on-line activities. Where possible, persons are encouraged to continue to participate in CPD events and activities.

Writer’s Thoughts:
We applaud the FSCA for its effort in easing the process for those in the financial services industry amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Do the extensions and arrangements help you in anyway? Please comment below, interact with us on Twitter at @fanews_online or email me your thoughts myra@fanews.co.za.

Comments

Added by Mahlengu TSHATSHA , 01 Apr 2020
It's very useful it will help many people
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