A person wishing to apply for a license to engage in money exchanging business must:
Read the Rules Governing Money ExChanging Business issued by the Decision of the Minister of Finance No. 4686 dated 21/11/1441H (Click the link); and meet all of the eligibility requirements below.
- Each founder (natural person) must not be less than 25 years old.
- The founder has not violated any of the provisions or implementing regulations of the Banking Control Law, the Capital Market Law, the Law on Supervision of Cooperative Insurance Companies, Finance Laws, the Rules Governing Money ExChanging Business, or any other laws or regulations inside or outside Saudi Arabia.
- The founder has sound reputation and has not been previously sentenced to a Sharia prescribed punishment (Hadd) or punished for a crime impinging on honor or integrity unless rehabilitated or 10 years have passed since the completion of the sentence, provided that SAMA's non-objection is obtained.
- The founder has sufficient solvency and has not failed to meet any financial obligations towards their creditors nor showed any indication of their inability to continue to meet financial obligations towards their creditors.
- The founder has not declared bankruptcy or entered into bankruptcy procedures with any creditor during the last three years.
- The founder does not have a previous application to practice money exchanging business rejected by SAMA in the last year.
- The founder has not submitted a request to cancel a license to practice money exchanging business during the last five years.
Additional Eligibility Requirements for Foreign Company Branches:
- The license application form must be filled out, signed, and enclosed with the application (Click the Link).- The Fit and Proper Form for each founder of the money exchanger must be filled out, signed, and enclosed with the application (Click the link). Note:
- The company must be at least 10 years old and operating in at least three countries.
- The foreign investor must not be from countries under international sanctions or from high-risk countries with regard to money laundering and terrorist financing and must not have branches in such countries. The foreign investor's home country must have effective AML/CTF laws and instructions and must be compliant with AML/CTF international recommendations and legal frameworks.
- The company must be fully compliant with AML/CTF local and international laws and instructions.
- The company has not been previously subject to any money-laundering or terrorist-financing investigation or any regulatory action.
- The parent supervisory authority has no objection to opening a branch of the money exchanger under its supervision when applying for the license to practice money exchanging business in Saudi Arabia.
- Issuance of a license for a sole proprietorship is limited to cities with a population of less than 100,000. An exception to that is cities with a population of more than 100,000 when there are locations in need of money exchanging services.
- It is a mandatory for the applicant to obtain initial approval prior to establishing business premises.
SAMA would like to stress the importance of refraining from practicing any money exchanging business in Saudi Arabia without a license from SAMA. Any person who engages in money exchanging business without a license will be subject to the penalties stipulated in the Banking Control Law and prohibited from obtaining a license. If that person has already submitted a license application to SAMA, the application will be rejected.
To apply, please click here.