The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), central bank and the Kingdoms financial regulator, has suspended money transfer activities of three leading currency exchange houses in the Kingdom.
The suspended money exchange houses are:
- Jeddah-based Saeed Mohammed Al-Amoudi and Company, also known as Alamoudi Exchange
- Al-Khobar based Abulaziz Abdullah Al-Zamil and Sons which is known as Zamil Exchange
- Jeddah-based Mounir Halwani and Sons which is known as Halwani exchange.
SAMA said in a statement posted on its website on Monday that it has suspended the activities of the three currency exchange houses for the violation of rules prescribed by it and also emphasized that suspension will be lifted only when errant exchange houses rectify their status by complying with regulations.
If the currency exchange houses fail to comply with regulations and correct their status, further legal measures will be taken, SAMA said on its website.
There are four licensed currency exchangers in class A group in the Kingdom. Three have now been suspended.
The fourth exchange company is Najran-based Mohammed Hassan Yalla & Sons Co.
These exchange houses offer attractive exchange rates for foreign remittances, especially to Asian countries. Many expatriates prefer to visit these exchange houses than banks.
Alamoudi exchange branches in Balad and Mosadiah are popular among expatriates in Jeddah and Zamil exchange is the preferred choice of many expatriates in the Eastern Province including in Jubail.
Employees at Alamoudi and Zamil told Saudi Gazette that their system is down. So they will not able to carry out any transactions for some time.
They did not mention anything about their suspension.
There was no response from the toll-free number of Alamoudi exchange.
The top countries which contribute the increase of remittances are United Arab Emirates, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the United States, according toBSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr.
According to Espenilla, cash sent home by land-based OFWs as of end-May increased 5.9 percent year-on-year to $9 billion.
How is it going to affect overseas Filipino workers in Saudi?