Unlicensed Foreign Exchange Dealers

Posted on 19/09/2016

The Central Bank of Samoa (“CBS”) has noted that there are various retail shops and businesses operating foreign currency exchanges without licenses.  Some of these businesses have openly displayed their foreign exchange rates at their business premises on a daily basis.  We wish to remind these businesses that these unfortunate practices are in breach of our Exchange Control Regulations 1999.

It is to this effect that we wish to provide a kind reminder for all businesses operating foreign exchange dealings without a license to refrain from these illegal practices or face the legal and appropriate consequences. 

The CBS will be conducting onsite inspections starting on 5 October 2016 to assess if any businesses are still operating illegally on foreign exchange or currency dealings.  If any businesses are still found to be engaging in these illegal operations, we will have no other option but to refer the matter to the Police for the filing of appropriate charges and subsequently, prosecution.  This offence is stipulated in the Financial Institutions Act 1996 and the Exchange Control Regulations 1999 in which each will attract an imprisonment term, a fine, or both an imprisonment term and a fine.