FSCA COMMUNICATION 9 OF 2020 (GENERAL) – Supervision 24 March 2020
IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON COMPLIANCE WITH VARIOUS REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS
1.1 The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (the Authority) acknowledges the impact of the COVID-19 on South Africa in general and the financial services industry specifically. The Authority is aware of the challenges the regulated entities might face in complying with various regulatory requirements.
1.2 As a result, the Authority hereby communicates various arrangements in respect of submission of statutory returns and fit- and-proper related deadlines.
1.3 Please note that the Authority is concerned with the current situation and open to specific challenges facing the industry, as such the Authority will do its best to accommodate anyone that is experiencing problems in complying with specific regulatory requirements because of the impact of COVID-19.
2. Fit-and-Proper Requirements in terms of the FAIS Act
2.1 Regulatory Examinations
2.1.1 All Regulatory Examinations with a deadline for 2020 will be extended to a deadline of 15 December 2020.
2.1.2 Due to the President’s announcement on 23 March 2020, declaring a nationwide lockdown from midnight 25 March 2020 to midnight 16 April 2020, Regulatory Examinations will be suspended for the time being (the Announcement). The situation will be monitored, and further clarity will be communicated in due course regarding Regulatory Examinations post-16 April 2020. In light of the Announcement, all exams that have already been scheduled to take place between 26 March 2020 and 16 April 2020 will have to be postponed (see paragraph 3.1.4 below).
2.1.3 The FSCA is also currently in discussions with Moonstone to consider the extent to which it is feasible to roll out an online format for Regulatory Examinations. Further information in this regard will be communicated in due course, where relevant.
2.1.4 Postponement of examinations: Candidates may postpone their examinations. Postponements will not attract any penalties or additional fees. Please contact Moonstone directly in this respect:
• Registration call centre: (021) 883 8000 / 888 9796 (weekdays between 08h00 and 16h00);
2.1.5 Cancellation of examinations
Where Moonstone cancels an examination session, candidates will be informed timeously and given an opportunity to reschedule another session at no additional costs. Where a candidate cancels his/her examination booking, then the usual cancellation policy and penalties will apply. View the cancellation policy here.
2.2 Class of Business Training, Product Specific Training and Qualifications
Class of Business (COB) Training
2.2.1 COB deadlines that were due for completion in 2020 will be extended to a deadline of 15 December 2020.
2.2.2 FSPs will have to extend the supervision period for such affected representatives.
Product Specific Training
2.2.3 As there are no deadlines linked to product-specific training, no extensions are necessary. However, please note that representatives may not render financial services if they have not received training on the products, they render financial services against.
2.2.4 All qualification deadlines that were due for completion during 2020 will be extended to a deadline of 15 December 2020. This date will be subject to review.
2.2 Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
The 2019/2020 CPD cycle:
2.3.1 Due to the cancellation of many CPD activities in March and April, FSPs, key individuals and representatives are granted an additional 3 months (until 31 August 2020) to meet the CPD requirements for this cycle.
The 2020/21 CPD Cycle:
2.3.2 The CPD requirements for this cycle will start on 1 September 2020 and ends on 31 May 2021. The CPD hours for this cycle will be calculated on a pro-rata basis, i.e. calculated for 9 months instead of 12 months, and will be reduced pro-rata with 3 months.
Alternative methods to obtain CPD:
2.3.3 The FSCA supports any individual efforts to achieve CPD hours in alternative methods to face-to-face events, which include webinars and on-line activities. Where possible, persons are encouraged to continue to participate in CPD events and activities.