The FIC’s Directive 6 for Estate Agents and Law Firms: We Can Help You Easily Become Compliant

March 4, 2024 by Sam Strand #News and Updates

Last year the FIC announced new and far-reaching due diligence requirements for estate agencies – along with steep fines for non-compliance. With the 31st of May 2024 deadline fast approaching, we compiled this information booklet to help you understand your due diligence obligations and explain how we can help.

What the FIC Has Said 

The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) – South Africa’s financial crime watchdog – has tightened SA’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws. This is being done to get South Africa removed from the FATF’s greylist.

Estate agencies must comply with several new legal requirements concerning due diligence and identity verification. This is because law firms are classified as DNFBPs (designated non-financial businesses and professions) and must therefore comply with the FIC’s new Directive 6.

These new requirements need not be scary and we want to help you understand them. We have created a short overview of some essential compliance obligations, as well as how we can help your business comply with these obligations.

Please note that this article is not a substitute for professional legal advice. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it a solicitation to offer legal advice.

Compliance Obligations

Real estate agencies and law firms must now submit a Risk and Compliance Return (RCR) to the FIC every year. 

What is a Risk and Compliance Return (RCR)? An RCR is a digital form created by the FIC. By filling it out, your company demonstrates that it understands money laundering risks and is acting in accordance with its Risk Management and Compliance Program (RMCP). 

This form must be completed digitally and can be found on the FIC’s website here 

Deadline: For real estate agencies and law firms, the final deadline for submitting this RCR is the 31st of May 2024 at 17:00. 

If you fail to submit a fully completed RCR by this deadline, you will be considered non-compliant and may be punished by the FIC. Punishment includes fines of up to R10 million for individuals and R50 million for legal entities. 

The Solutions We Provide 

Required Verifications

How We Can Help

Customer Due Diligence: Estate agencies and law firms must comprehensively verify the identities of all clients and implement ongoing monitoring programs to ensure that all information about this client (like residential and business addresses) is up to date.  

We provide a comprehensive suite of identity verification solutions – including a Smart KYC process and automated digital onboarding products – that cover every requirement stipulated by the FIC. We can verify both natural persons (individuals) and juristic persons (companies). 

Employee Due Diligence: Estate agencies and law firms must screen all new and existing employees to verify individual identities to reduce the risk of money laundering. 

Just like with your clients, our solutions empower you to easily verify your employees.

Sanctions and Watchlist Screening: Estate agencies and law firms must verify whether an individual is under sanction, on a watchlist, or is a Politically Exposed Person (PEP). 

We offer a streamlined sanctions screening solution that reliably verifies whether a client or employee is under sanction. We can verify both natural persons (individuals) and juristic persons (companies).

Ongoing Monitoring: Estate agencies and law firms must implement ongoing monitoring solutions that can detect a change in PEP or sanction status. 

We offer ongoing monitoring solutions for sanctions and watchlist screening that ensure constant compliance. 

Why an RMCP Is So Important 

Our comprehensive range of services means that we can supply your company with the tools it needs to comply with the specific requirements for identity verification that are stipulated by the RCR.

However, for your company to be fully compliant with the FIC, our verification tools must be used in accordance with your company’s Risk Management and Compliance Programme (RMCP).

Properly developing an RMCP is a complex process that must be done with the correct professional assistance. We do not recommend relying upon the free RMCP templates that are available online, as the majority of these templates fail on audit. Failing an RMCP audit will cost your company time and money and should be avoided.

We have a network of qualified professionals who can assist your company with the completion of its RMCP. We will gladly connect you with these professionals and assist you throughout your compliance journey.

We Will Help You to Become Compliant. Let’s Talk. 

If you are still unsure, do not worry. We pride ourselves on excellent client support and our dedicated team will happily meet with you to ensure that we can provide the best possible solutions to your problems.   

To get in touch, visit our website and schedule a demo here

Alternatively, reach out directly to to start talking.