Promoth Manghat, the vice president of global operations at UAE Exchange, and Osama Al Rahma, the general manager of Al Fardan Exchange, talk about illicit money flows and how the industry is policing its ranks.
Talking money exchange
Promoth Manghat, the vice president of global operations at UAE Exchange, and Osama Al Rahma, the general manager of Al Fardan Exchange and the chairman of the Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group discuss the industry.
What measures are in place by the Central Bank to regulate the money exchange industry?
Mr Manghat: "The Central Bank has been very stringent in terms of execution of regulations with exchange houses and has been vigorous in protecting the area of people's money. In addition, we as a company have our own procedures and rules and tighten monitoring whenever any incidents in the industry happen to reassure our customers and make sure we don't unknowingly break any rules."
What guidelines do you have from the Central Bank about anti-money laundering?
Mr Manghat: "Regulatory compliance with anti-money laundering has gained more relevance in recent years and the Central Bank is continually counselling the industry with directives and other interactions. It's more relevant as we're operating on a global scene and no company can escape that."
What is being done within the industry to police this area?
Mr Al Rahma: "As the Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group, one of our core objectives is to raise standards in anti-money laundering and so we have training sessions for members and non-members on industry best practice and what practical steps front-line staff can take to minimise risks."
How do you guard against illicit money flows?
Mr Al Rahma: "In general the philosophy that works best is to know your customer and to look for red flags such as making sure their money exchange activities match their income and be particularly vigilant with transactions to certain countries in the region."
How competitive is the money exchange industry in the UAE?
Mr Manghat: "It's a competitive market. The cost of remitting money is low compared to other countries."