Practicing money exchange in Saudi Arabia without license forbidden

Rules exempt hotels, hotel suites and legal tourism offices

  
Saudi currency, riyal, is seen at a local currency exchange in Manama, Bahrain October 16, 2018. Image used for illustrtor purpose only

Saudi currency, riyal, is seen at a local currency exchange in Manama, Bahrain October 16, 2018. Image used for illustrtor purpose only

REUTERS/ Hamad I Mohammed

JEDDAH — The rules organizing the money exchange business forbid any natural or legal person from practicing money exchanging in the Kingdom without holding a valid license issued by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).

The rules approved by the Council of Ministers recently ban the use of any expressions hinting the practice of money exchange without a license.

The rules exempt hotels, hotel suites and legal tourism offices. The rules allow these accommodation facilities to exchange currencies for their clients only. The currencies should then be sold to a licensed bank or a licensed money exchange center in the Kingdom.

They must also comply with the rules of the regulation for countering money laundering and its executive bylaw, the operations should be documented and the documents kept in a safe place.

The rules stressed the importance of money exchange centers to abide by the provisions of the regulations for combating money laundering; for countering terror crimes, terror financing and their executive bylaws; the circulars, controls and directives issued in this regard; the guidelines for carrying out the mechanism for implementing the UN Security Council resolutions related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and financing it.

The decision approving the new rules made incumbent upon the licensed money exchangers to rectify their status in line with the rules of these principles, within a period not exceeding a year.

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