The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) suspended the licenses of three foreign exchange companies operating in Karachi, citing severe infractions of its regulatory frameworks.
The suspension, effective immediately, halts all business activities of the implicated exchange companies, including transactions at their headquarters and various branches, until further notice.
Among the affected entities, the Royal International Exchange Company’s permit was specifically revoked by the SBP. This action was taken in response to the company’s failure to adhere to the established rules and regulations set forth by the central bank, highlighting the SBP’s stringent oversight and commitment to maintaining the integrity of Pakistan’s financial system.
Pakistan’s foreign exchange business landscape is undergoing significant changes. Notably, United Bank Limited (UBL), Faysal Bank Limited (FBL), and Bank Alfalah Limited (BAF) have announced the formation of their own exchange company, a strategic move approved by their Board of Directors. Establishing this wholly-owned subsidiary, with an initial paid-up capital of Rs1 billion, marks a pivotal development in the banking sector’s involvement in currency exchange services.
The decision of banks to venture into the foreign exchange market follows the SBP’s recent policy adjustments, which now permit banks to establish their exchange companies. The policy shift, particularly following the prohibition of B-category exchange firms, signals the central bank’s broader strategy to streamline and enhance the regulatory environment of the currency exchange sector in Pakistan.
The suspension of licenses and the subsequent entry of banking institutions into the foreign exchange market reflect the SBP’s dual approach to enforcing compliance while fostering innovation and stability in the financial services industry. These measures indicate the central bank’s proactive stance in safeguarding the interests of consumers and ensuring the resilience of Pakistan’s financial system against irregularities and malpractices.