UAE central bank shuts two money exchange firms for violations

Reuters, Wednesday 8 May 2013

The United Arab Emirates has invalidated the licences of two money exchange companies for nonconformity with rules against money laundering

The United Arab Emirates, a major financial hub in the Middle East, has revoked the licences of two money exchange companies for non-compliance with regulations including rules against money laundering, the central bank said on Wednesday.

The companies were identified as Al Hilal Exchange and Asia Exchange Centre.

"The first company had major regulatory and anti-money laundering compliance violations and the second company had major regulatory violations," a central bank statement said without elaborating. Central bank officials did not return calls seeking further comment.

The UAE, a major oil exporter, has more expatriate workers than nationals, and the foreigners use exchange houses to remit money home. There are 114 money exchange firms in the country, according to the central bank's website.

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