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BSP tightens watch over forex, remittance operations

Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - July 18, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is set to tighten supervision of foreign exchange dealers, money changers and remittance agents in the aftermath of the $81-million bank heist in February.

BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said authorities are now looking at possible amendments to Circular 471 issued in 2005 covering the rules and regulations on the registration and operations of foreign exchange dealers, money changers, and remittance agents.

“We are tightening the oversight over non-bank financial institutions such as remittance businesses, money changers, and foreign exchange dealers. And also reflecting the recent experience,” he said.

The circular indicates all foreign exchange dealers, money changers, and remittance agents are subject to the provisions of Republic Act 7653 or the New Central Bank Act and RA 9160 as amended by RA 9194 or the Anti Money Laundering Act (AMLA).

Espenilla said the BSP is upgrading the regulation to improve the supervision of foreign exchange dealers, money changers, and remittance agents and make it at par with banks.

“It is under exposure right now so we are taking industry comments. So there will be clearer, well-defined obligations particularly on money laundering responsibilities. We want to basically make sure that everybody follows the same money laundering protocol. Same as banks, same as non banks,” he said.

Last month, the BSP revoked the certificate of registration and delisted Philrem Services Corp., Peso Remittance Express Inc., and Werquick Inc. due to various violations after playing a role in the $81 million cyber theft.

Last April, the BSP said it would go hard on banks violating the rules on transactions with foreign exchange dealers, money changers, and remittances companies.

The BSP issued Memorandum M-2016 – 004 reminding all banks on sound risk management practices when dealing with foreign exchange dealers, money changers, and remittance agents.

 

 

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