DO ANYTHING financial, from buying air time to insurance, and you must be "Fica’d". You cannot rent, see a lawyer, use a bank or smell roses without "compliance". Half of the population and most businesses are directly affected victims of the 2001 Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica).
We fund an entirely new profession: "compliance officers". Virtually no one knows why Fica became part of their lives. Policy makers do not know what compliance and its enforcement costs, who ultimately pays, or whether whatever benefits there might be justify those costs. Fica is a monumental failure that should be scrapped.
The ostensible purpose of Fica is to "combat money-laundering activities and the financing of terrorist and related activities". It performs virtually no such function but is used instead to turn unwilling businesses into government agents for the invasion of privacy.
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Leon Louw is the President of the Free Market Foundation.
Publish date: 25 February 2015
The views expressed in the article are the author’s and are not necessarily shared by the members of the Foundation.