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By Gareth Cotterell

Digital Editor


South Africa greylisted by global watchdog FATF

International banks will now place South Africa in a higher risk category.


South Africa has been greylisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.

The decision was announced on Friday.

South Africa greylisted

The greylisting means South Africa will face increased monitoring by the FATF.

Countries are added to the greylist when they are considered to not be doing enough to combat illicit financial flows, including money laundering and terrorist funding.

The greylisting also means that South Africa is now in the same bracket as Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

Nigeria was also added to the list on Friday.

“Jurisdictions under increased monitoring are actively working with the FATF to address the strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing,” the FATF said.

“When the FATF places a jurisdiction under increased monitoring, it means the country has committed to resolve swiftly the identified strategic deficiencies within agreed timeframes. New jurisdictions subject to increased monitoring are South Africa and Nigeria.”

ALSO READ: Costs for banks and SOEs could spike if SA is greylisted

Repercussions of greylisting

The greylisting is likely to see South Africa’s GDP take a hit. Usually, greylisted nations see less foreign investment coming into the country. 

International banks will now place the country in a higher risk category.

South African holders of offshore accounts will also now be considered as higher risk clients.

This means the country, its companies and business people will face more due diligence processes and expected to pay increased costs.

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