n Without Prejudice - The right to freeze a bank account : financial law

Volume 15, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1681-178X



Can a bank lawfully freeze a client's bank account without an express term in the facility agreement? This was the issue in the recent case of (2014/27890) [2014] ZAGPJHC 368 (5 December 2014). The court considered whether the responsibilities of the bank in respect of money laundering under the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (38 of 2001) (FICA) and the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (121 of 1998) (POCA) impose obligations that may be imputed as a tacit or implied term which, , entitles banks to freeze clients' accounts when there is a reasonable suspicion that the funds in the accounts were the proceeds of illegal activities.

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