99FM – Your Inspiration Station

BAN and NaSIA urge companies to submit Beneficial Ownership Information

Banking industry bodies, Bankers Association of Namibia and the Namibia Savings and Investments Association, are calling on all companies to comply with Beneficial Ownership (BO) information requirements. 

The BO information requirements were recently issued by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) and the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) calling for all companies, including Accountable and Reporting institutions to submit information promptly. Submission of this information is crucial for promoting transparency, ensuring regulatory adherence in Namibia’s business environment, and eventual removal of Namibia from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list.

FIC and BIPA have issued directives regarding the submission of BO information by legal entities. BIPA’s Registrar Directive 01 of 2023 and Directive 01 of 2024 have raised concerns among affected entities. To address confusion, BIPA has issued Directive 03 of 2024, withdrawing penalties and reiterating submission deadlines. All existing Companies and Close Corporations must have up-to-date BO information submitted on the required forms by 07 September 2024 to avoid potential penalties and deregistration.

Failure to comply with FIC and BIPA directives may result in placement on an inactive list, administrative sanctions, criminal penalties, and deregistration after six months. This could have serious implications for both the banking and non-banking financial sectors, as well as the economy at large. It is therefore essential for entities to adhere to these directives to ensure compliance with legal requirements and avoid any operational disruptions.

In line with FIC’s AML/CFT/CPF framework, all entities identified as Accountable and Reporting Institutions in Schedules 1 & 3 of the FIA must take necessary measures to uphold the framework which may include restricting access to accounts held by any entity identified as being non-compliant with the BIPA directive. For further guidance and clarification, affected entities are advised to contact BIPA.

For more information on the submission of Beneficial Ownership (BO) information and compliance with FIC and BIPA directives, please visit the BIPA website at www.bipa.na or contact the BIPA office directly at info@bipa.na or +264 61 299 4400.

Brian Katjaeura and Jason Hailonga, the CEOs of BAN and NaSIA respectively encourage all affected entities to take immediate action to submit their BO information and ensure regulatory compliance because failure to do so may lead to serious consequences, including penalties and deregistration. They encourage collaborative efforts to promote transparency and integrity in Namibia’s business environment.

-Press Release