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May 27, 2024

BSP shuts down another forex dealer

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has canceled Nikko Mart’s license as a remittance and money changing company.

This action was prompted by Nikko Mart’s violation of Republic Act No. 9160, commonly known as the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001.

Despite attempts by Nikko Mart to contest the decision, their appeal was firmly denied by the BSP’s Monetary Board (MB) in July 2023. This marks Nikko Mart as the 15th money service business (MSB) to lose its registration with the BSP.

MSBs, which encompass pawnshops, foreign exchange dealers, and remittance agents, play a crucial role in the financial ecosystem, particularly in rural areas, facilitating remittances and currency exchanges. Many also serve as vital channels for cash-in and cash-out transactions.

The BSP’s regulatory oversight extends not only to traditional MSBs but also to entities involved in electronic money (e-money) and retail transfer services (RTCs), including remittance platforms and e-money issuers. This oversight encompasses the use of virtual assets in money transfers and foreign exchange transactions.

Acknowledging the importance of MSBs, particularly in underserved regions, the BSP has proposed strengthened guidelines aimed at enhancing risk management, transparency, and governance within the sector.

These proposed amendments include stricter reporting requirements, mandatory disclosure of criminal activities and losses, and adjustments to penalties for non-compliance. Additionally, the proposed guidelines mandate comprehensive financial record-keeping, detailed reporting procedures, and the submission of audited financial statements by MSBs.