South Africa

Financial Advisory and Intermediary Service Act (FAIS)

Protecting your rights

Background to The Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act

Your money is precious to you, and deciding who should advise you on your investments is not a decision to be taken lightly. To protect your rights, the Ministry of Finance, as far back as 1993, investigated mechanisms for regulating conduct within the financial services industry.

The main purpose was to:

  • Provide consumer protection in terms of financial products; and
  • Enhance the integrity of the South African financial services industry.

This resulted in the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act which was enacted in November 2002. We are committed to serving you, our customers, within and beyond the specifications of the law.

What is the financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act about?

The FAIS Act regulates the providing of financial services (which may be advice and/or intermediary services) on financial products (e.g. deposit, insurance and investment products) to you.  The FAIS Act is aimed at protecting you and professionalising the financial services industry

Who does it apply to?

Any person who provides financial service to you must be licensed by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority  (FSCA).

What you need to know?

The entity must disclose to you, in its documentation, advertisements, communication and marketing material, that it is an authorised financial services provider (AFSP). A person (called a Representative) employed by the AFSP cannot provide any financial services to you without being authorised/mandated by the AFSP. If you are uncertain as to whether a Representative/ AFSP is authorised to provide financial services, you may check the status of their approval on the FSCA website, which is You may also contact the Licensed Compliance Officer linked to the AFSP, whose contact details are on the FSCA website.