Dubai: The Central Bank of the UAE on Monday announced that it has decided to downgrade the licence of seven money exchange houses operating in the UAE.

According to the central bank announcement, these exchange houses will now be allowed to deal in the sale and purchase of foreign currencies and travellers cheques only.

The exchange houses whose licences have been downgraded by the central bank are Taher Exchange Est, Al Hadha Exchange LLC, Al Hemriya Exchange Company LPC, Dubai Express Exchange, Sanaa Exchange, Cosmos Exchange and Bin Bakheet Exchange Est.

The regulator decided to downgrade the licences of these exchange houses after they violated central bank regulations, including anti-money laundering regulations, the central bank said in a press statement.

“Based on this decision, the above exchange houses were prohibited from conducting any activities relating to remittances or payment of wages. This decision comes after the failure of these exchange houses to regularise their status during the grace period granted by the Central Bank,” the statement said.

The central bank statement added that it would not tolerate violations of its regulations and instructions by financial institutions. It urged the public and companies to avoid remitting funds or paying wages through the above exchange houses.