The Omnibus Bill amends the Financial Sector Regulation Act, 2017 (FSR Act). The Omnibus Bill introduces the concept of beneficial owners into the FSR Act by introducing a new Chapter 11A into the FSR Act. A beneficial owner has been defined, as with the other consequential amendments in the other pieces of legislation, as having the same meaning as defined in the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 2001.
For the purposes of the FSR Act, beneficial owner includes a natural person who directly or indirectly ultimately owns or can exercise control of a financial institution or natural person, legal person, partnership or trust that owns or can exercise control of, as the case may be, a financial institution.
Financial sector regulators will be given the power to make standards that:
- prescribe what would and would not constitute direct or indirect ultimate ownership or control, or the ability to exercise such control as contemplated in the definition of beneficial owner;
- set out exclusions of specified persons from the definition of beneficial owner; and
- distinguish between different types and categories of beneficial owner.
Regarding the standards that will be applicable to beneficial owners, a financial sector regulator may prescribe:
- fit and proper requirements, in particular honesty and integrity; and
- reporting of relevant information.
Regarding the standards that will be applicable to financial institutions, a financial sector regulator may prescribe:
- identification and verification of beneficial owners' requirements; and
- reporting or relevant information in respect of beneficial owners.
The amendments will give a financial sector regulator the power to issue a written directive to a beneficial owner requiring the beneficial owner to take the action specified in the directive if the beneficial owner has contravened or is likely to contravene a financial sector law for which the financial sector regulator is responsible. The directive must aim to stop the beneficial owner from contravening the financial sector law or reduce the risk of such a contravention and may include requiring the beneficial owner to take steps to cease being a beneficial owner. A beneficial owner must comply with the directive issued in terms of the stated provisions.
This summary is not intended to, and does not, constitute legal advice, and may not be relied upon. For further information or tailored advice, please contact
Lerato Lamola-Oguntoye or your usual Webber Wentzel contact.
You can also access the Omnibus Bill's proposed amendments to the other pieces of legislation