SAMA suspends top money exchange houses


Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), central bank and the Kingdom’s 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 which is popularly known as Alamoudi Exchange, Al-Khobar based Abulaziz Abdullah Al-Zamil and Sons which is known as Zamil Exchange and also 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 ben 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.