Proposed Compliance Officers' Exams Announced

25 April 2016 Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group

In mid-April this year, the Registrar of Financial Services Providers published draft amendments to Board Notice 127 (BN 127), entitled “Qualifications, Experience and Criteria for Approval as Compliance Officer”, (Amendment Notice). The Amendment Notice is still in draft form and subject to public comments, which must reach the Financial Services Board (FSB) on 16 May 2016.

According to Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group’s head of  Finance and Banking,  Francisco Khoza, the Amendment Notice gives effect to the existing requirement that compliance officers must sit and pass regulatory examinations. 

“Although compliance officers are required by BN 127 to sit and pass regulatory examinations, currently that requirement is not enforceable, because there are no regulatory examinations specifically prescribed for compliance officers. The Amendment Notice proposes that compliance officers must sit and pass the existing first level regulatory examinations which are currently applicable to key individuals and representatives of financial services providers (FSPs). The Amendment Notice is motivated by the FSB’s view that a compliance officer must have a demonstrable knowledge and an understanding of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002,” he explains.

Khoza notes that the impact of the Amendment Notice is that, when it comes into force, compliance officers, including compliance officers of foreign FSPs, will be required to sit and pass the first level regulatory examinations. Also, compliance officers who are already registered with the FSB will be required to sit and pass the examinations within six months after commencement of the Amendment Notice.

“The Amendment Notice will apply to all compliance officers, including compliance officers of foreign FSPs which are licensed to render “intermediary services” only and whose key individuals and representatives are exempt from the requirement to sit and pass regulatory examinations,” he adds.

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