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'Serious violations': SBP suspends authorisation of two currency exchange companies for 3 months

  • Central bank advises both firms to strengthen internal control functions, submit report of corrective measures
Published September 13, 2022
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The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday suspended with immediate effect the authorisation of two Exchange Companies due to violation of regulatory instructions.

In a statement, it notified the suspension of Swiss International Exchange Company-B (Pvt.) Limited and Great Union Exchange Company-B (Pvt.) Limited for three months due to "serious violations of regulatory instructions".

“The SBP has advised both firms to strengthen their internal control functions and submit a report of corrective measures to be taken,” it said.

“Furthermore, the authorisation of one branch each of Swiss International Exchange Company and Great Union Exchange Company, as mentioned hereafter, has been cancelled with immediate effect.”

SBP initiates strict monitoring of forex operations

Both Exchange Companies, their head offices, branches/outlets have been restricted from undertaking any kind of business activity during the suspension period.

The development comes at a time when the rupee has come under renewed pressure, depreciating for the eighth successive session in the inter-bank market on Tuesday. However, before it, the rupee fell in the open market with the spread between the two widening to as much as Rs8-10 in the previous week.

Earlier in August, the SBP initiated strict monitoring of foreign exchange operations of exchange companies and banks in order to control the volatility in the exchange rate.

It also suspended the operations of four branches of two exchange companies for violation of SBP regulations.

SBP to enhance monitoring of foreign exchange operations

“In view of volatility in the exchange rate and the difference between the inter-bank rate and the rate offered by Exchange Companies (ECs) and banks to their customers, the State Bank has increased the monitoring of the foreign exchange operations of ECs and banks,” it said in August.

Acting upon its initiative, the SBP also started inspections of a number of exchange companies and banks to inspect the currency operation.

During these surprise visits, SBP suspended the operations of four branches of two ECs namely Galaxy Exchange Co and Al-Hameed International Money Exchange Co, for violation of SBP regulations.

According to the SBP, it also imposed monetary penalties on some ECs in the recent past for violating the rules and regulation issued by SBP for currency operation. Besides, due to violations of SBP instructions, arrangements of 13 franchises have been terminated by six different ECs in the recent past.

Comments

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Adnan Aziz Sep 14, 2022 07:58am
SBP is a White Elephant. SBP Governor draws a monthly salary of 25 Lac rupees a month, according to some media sources. His salary and perks combined are 125 times the salary and perks of an educated Pakistani. Had SBP been duly alert, terror funding and money laundering of such a scale would not have taken place. As a consequence FATF slapped terms and conditions that have turned life of an ordinary citizen into hell. Is it for any government to tell me where I should spend my legally earned money? Not at all. This happens nowhere. And yet this is what I am being told. And look at the flight of US Dollar. We stand isolated in the eyes of the international community in so far money matters are concerned, and otherwise. The commercial banks are fleecing the general public through non-transparency policies. SBP despite being a semi-autonomous status and its staff enjoying high salaries and perks, it has failed to deliver responsibilities of oversight.
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GQAbbasi Sep 14, 2022 08:07am
Need to suspend all 500 Exchange companies those were establish for Default of Pakistan Program Under the Shield of Imports of Goods by Niazi Regime.These Companies played pivot role to reduce the Foreign Reserves
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Adnan Aziz Sep 14, 2022 09:55am
You waste readers' time by first inviting them to comment and then not publishing their comments. I posted my comment over an hour ago and I still do not see it published. I must mention that my comment was based on realities, polite and a genuine one. If this trend continues, I shall be compelled to blacklist your paper.
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Ahmed Zubair Sep 15, 2022 07:17am
1. The interbank rate is quite deceptive. It has no match to the rates offered to the customers. If it is made better, many will prefer to deal with banks. 2. The biometric requirement by the exchange dealers is also problematic, mainly for senior citizens. Exchange companies resort to manual receipts instead of computerized ones.
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