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UAE Central Bank revokes licenses of two money exchange companies

Published: Updated:

The central bank of the United Arab Emirates revoked the licenses of two local exchange companies after they violated financial regulations, according to the Emirates news agency WAM.

Al Hilal Exchange had “major regulatory and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance violations,” while the second company, Asia Exchange Centre, had “major regulatory violations,” said WAM, quoting the UAE Central Bank.

The statement added that “based on revocation of the licenses, the two companies were prohibited from conducting any activities relating to remittances or currency exchange from date [May 8th, 2013],” reported WAM.

Money exchanges form part of a thriving business in the UAE, given the large number of expatriates making regular transfers to families and relatives in their home countries. For this reason, the UAE Central bank has a regulatory framework for money exchangers.

The regulation confines money exchange licenses to “institutions and companies established per provisions of the commercial companies' law,” according to the Central Bank’s website.