The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has canceled the registration of money service business (MSB) firm Cosmic Money Exchange (CMX) for violating BSP rules.
This latest ban on MSBs brings the total to nine so far this year.
In a circular letter dated August 30, BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier announced that the Monetary Board, BSP's policy-making body, approved Resolution No. 276-A on March 2, which led to the cancellation of CMX's registration.
Fonacier stated that CMX is banned from operating as a money changer and foreign exchange dealer (MC/FXD) pursuant to BSP's Manual of Regulations for non-bank financial institutions.
She said, "This action was taken due to serious violations and non-compliance with Republic Act No. 9160 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, as amended, and its 2018 Implementing Rules and Regulations," in the memo.
This latest ban on MSBs brings the total to nine so far this year. The BSP had previously disqualified eight firms from registering as MSBs after they were caught operating without a license.
The most recent disqualifications occurred in June and involved six MSBs. "(The ban) is part of the BSP's efforts to address the proliferation of entities engaged in the operation of unauthorized MSBs," said the BSP. Of the six banned MSBs in June, two were located in Pasay City, three in Makati City, and one in San Fernando, Pampanga.
The six entities were identified as: Bontoy Money Changer, located in Arnaiz Ave. St., Barangay 107, Pasay City, Metro Manila, owned by Mohammad S. Sauti; Nurul Money Changing Services in Taft Avenue St., Zone 10, Barangay 83, District 1, Pasay City, owned by Yaser H. Pacundo; Globexmc Foreign Exchange Services in P. Burgos St., Brgy. Poblacion, Makati City, operated by Shelly Mohammad Tillah; J-Mar Foreign Exchange Service in Constellation St., corner Makati Ave., Bel-Air, Makati City, run by Fahadmajiel Sakaluran; Mariada Money Exchange Services in 906 A. Arnaiz Ave., San Lorenzo, Makati City, operated by Rauf Haroun Mohammad; and Money Changer in Gen. Hizon Ave., Sto. Rosario, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, owned by Mary Grace S. Santos. In February, the BSP also disqualified Kidlat Fast Cash Inc. in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, and Tong's Money Changer in Panglao, Bohol.
MSBs are non-bank entities engaged in remittance, MC, and FXD. Pawnshops, along with foreign exchange dealers/money changers and/or remittance agents, are also considered MSBs by the BSP.
Last year, the BSP disqualified 10 MSBs from obtaining a license to operate after failing to register with the BSP. As of the end of 2022, the BSP has registered 7,584 MSBs, compared to 7,570 in 2021.