The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, the kingdom’s central bank, has suspended the activities of the three leading currency exchange houses for breaching regulations.
The three privately held exchange houses are Jeddah-based Alamoudi Exchange, Al-Khobar-based Zamil Exchange and Jeddah-based Halwani.
All three exchanges have had all their money transfer facilities frozen.
The exchange houses offer millions of expat workers in the kingdom attractive exchange rates for money transfers and currency exchange, with many expats, especially those from Asia, preferring to use bureaux for foreign remittances.
In a statement on their website the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) said they “recently decided to suspend the money transfer operations of the three companies”.
The suspension will be lifted when the three companies “comply with regulations” they added, without elaborating on how regulations were broken.
The statement warned that further action would be taken against the three exchanges if they continued to violate financial regulations.
The three exchanges fall into the 'A class' group of currency exchanges in the country, along with a fourth company, Najran-based Mohammed Hassan Yalla & Sons Co, which continues to operate as normal.
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