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Pakistan’s top exchange companies and their role in economic stability

Published on 27th June, Edition 26- 2016

 

With the incorporation of Exchange Companies the misinterpretations regarding their activities have been wiped out. In order to regularize and have smooth money exchange business in Pakistan, State Bank of Pakistan has incorporated Exchange Companies (the then Money Changers) through FE Circular No. 9 dated July 1, 2002. The real force behind Exchange Companies formation in Pakistan was the post 9/11 world economic and political situation, when the inward remittances of foreign national Pakistani had been increased owing to the unsettled political, social as well as economic future conditions of the European world.

For the revitalization of Pakistan’s economy a comprehensive system of corporate governance was required for foreign exchange business as well, which would only be achieved by converting money changers (SBP licensed, non-formal business groups) into Incorporated Limited Companies under Companies Ordinance 1984.

Moreover to broaden the tax base of the country and to bring more and more business activities into tax net, in order to increase the collection of national exchequer, exchange companies were need to be formed.

Therefore in order to effectively handle the influx of foreign exchange in Pakistan the need of properly managed foreign exchange companies was felt.

First-Ever Exchange Company

The State Bank of Pakistan has shown a lot of confidence in the management of H&H Exchange Co (Pvt) Limited. This company comprises of the businessmen having the best repute and experience in the Money Exchange business. The State Bank of Pakistan issued the first ever license to H&H Exchange. This company has the privilege to be the first-ever exchange company of Pakistan, which started its business operations with effect from February 6, 2003.

H&H Exchange Co (Pvt) Ltd, in order to take active part in Pakistan’s economic revival was the first to take a step forward and joined hands with SBP to curb the bottlenecks and hurdles which were hampering Pakistan’s economic growth and prosperity.

H&H Exchange stands distinct amongst the other exchange companies, in assisting Government of Pakistan towards economic reconstruction and stability, by contributing in the piling up of record level of foreign exchange reserves, the highest ever in the country’s history.

It was the only exchange company, which sold $50 million in the Inter-bank Market in the month of December 2003, where the total industry data excluding H&H Exchange Co. was $10 million only. Further H&H Exchange was the highest contributor to the national exchequer, in the form of tax amongst other exchange companies.

The extraordinary growth in customer base through opening of various branches in major cities all over the country, speaks itself the reputation of H&H Exchange, which has been earned in a short span of one-year amongst the masses.

Mission & Vision: Mission is to develop the company’s performance and customer service as a benchmark for foreign exchange industry.

H&H’s Vision is to transform the company into one of the leading Non Banking Financial Institution, by ensuring sizeable enlargement of Branches/Booth network with an appropriate corporate infra-structure.

Wall Street Exchange Company (Pvt) Ltd

Wall Street Exchange Company (Pvt) Limited was registered and incorporated as Private Limited Company with Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) on July 14, 2003.

The Company was granted license by the State Bank of Pakistan on August 28, 2003 and commenced its operations in December 2003, as per the guidelines laid down by the central bank of the country.

From a steady start in 2003-4, the Company has now covered a big ground, and can easily be rated as the front line and leading foreign exchange company of a country.

Mission & Vision: The Company has the mission to provide the best services to its loyal established customers, with the prime objective of following the rules/regulations provided by the State Bank of Pakistan.

The Company through its policies/procedures will consistently support to stabilize the FX Market of the Country, within the given limitations. The Company through the self discipline approach generates capacity, capability and resource to develop highest possible standards of service. The Company’s mission will remain to keep business ethics, principles, values and Country’s Reputation supreme than the material benefits.

The vision of the Company is to enhance its capacity and capability to develop a loyal clientele base. The Company will continue to generate the foreign exchange for the country through its untiring efforts to get the most secured home remittances.

The social/professional responsibility aspect of creating jobs at the entry level will continue to be the prime focus. Therefore the long term vision of the Company is as the ‘leading exchange company’ with solid customer base, qualified and trained staff and support to country’s forex reserve will remain focused.

The major product – home remittances is the part of long term vision, whereby the recipients will get the benefit of effective, quick and economical ways of receiving money, while the country will be the beneficiary of increased foreign exchange. The Company will continue to work on this ‘Long Term Vision’.

Operations: The Company in order to achieve the mission under the guidance of Board and supervision of the top management will have sound, stable and quality operation. The Company has operations, marketing and treasury strong personnel, who work towards the objectives of achieving quantitative goals, while maintaining all qualitative values.

The IT department supports to the front line business divisions with MIS is available right on the finger tips. The most critical and complex aspect of today’s FX business, the compliance and audit division has been consisted of very experienced, matured and groomed people, who understand the complexities from all angles. The Company therefore believes that it should continue to achieve its quantitative goals without compromising any possible operational/regulatory/accounting drawback.

Customers: Wall Street Exchange Company is one of the leading Exchange Houses having had its association with Deutsche Bank (until SBP changed the regulation) and relationships with the local banking institutions. These relationships help the Company to strengthen its business relationships at the hard core retail (individuals), wholesale (corporate/institutions) and niche market Individuals. The Company maintains highest level of quality services to its loyal customers.

Management: The Company has been established and managed by the professionals associated with the Financial Services Industry for a long time.

The major officials of the Company have experience of international and local banking and FX business. The Board of Director consists of professionals and neutrals personnel, therefore keeping the accountability process highly balanced.

The management believes in complete institutionalization of business, and therefore it has strong mid tier management, which takes care of operations, regulatory aspects and marketing.

The Company will continue to stress on the quality of board, senior management and middle management, to make it a formidable institution.

Customers: Wall Street Exchange Company is one of the leading exchange houses having had its association with Deutsche Bank (until SBP changed the regulation) and relationships with the local banking institutions.

These relationships help the Company to strengthen its business relationships at the hard core retail (individuals), wholesale (corporate/Institutions) and niche market individuals. The Company maintains highest-level of quality services to its loyal customers.

Values: Value would remain to maintain the highest level of ‘Reputation’. The Company will never compromise on any kind of reputation risk. It would continue to value country’s stability, with support towards the employment. The aspect of social responsibility is the top value.

The combination of quantitative achievements with the support of all values will help maintain solid relationships with customers, institutions and regulators.

Gallery: Diligence in processing financial transactions, failure to prevent money laundering permits criminals to benefit from their actions.

AML/Compliance: Wall Street Exchange Company (Pvt) Ltd, is focused to give priority to keep high working system and operational mechanism ‘clean’ ensuring not to be used for unlawful transaction also to ‘avoid’ misuse of internal system.

In order to highlight guidelines related to due diligence (Anti money laundering definition, prevention procedures, policy, KYC, staff training and record keeping) papers being provided to staff members to be aware of their responsibilities to counter unlawful transaction in line with FATF recommendations and SBP rules and regulations and directives as and when notified.

The Company has defined responsibilities at various levels and departments given ‘clear procedure (containing related responsibilities) for day-to-day operations controlled by Branch Managers who report to Company’s Management and discuss for further guidelines.

In accordance with the international legal requirements and standards, it is required to give greater attention to Money Laundering issue.

It is extremely important to ensure that monies earned through illegal activities are not run into financial system in the country.

Large amount of criminal money is derived from sale of Drugs, Arms Tax Evasion and kickbacks In line with SBP rules and FATF Recommendations it is imperative to exercise Due Diligence in processing financial transactions, failure to prevent money laundering permits criminals to benefit from their actions.

 

NBP Exchange

NBP Exchange Company Limited is a leading exchange company in Pakistan. NBP Exchange is the first Bank-owned company to start currency exchange business in the country. The company is operating with a network of 18 branches in potential areas of the country.

Under the exchange company license, NBP Exchange is authorized to deal in following business areas in regulated environment: Currency exchange, Inward/Outward remittances through Western Union. Foreign Currency Demand Draft – Foreign Currency Telegraphic Transfer.

Royal International Exchange Company (Pvt) Ltd

Royal International Exchange Co, (Pvt) Ltd is the leading foreign exchange company in Pakistan. The company is one of the pioneers to start currency exchange business in the country.

The company has aggressive plans to expand its branch network to other areas of Pakistan. Company operates with a network of 16 locations nationwide. It has 6 Franchises and 10 branches in major cities of Pakistan.

Mission & Vision: To be the most reliable and largest foreign exchange company of Pakistan by delivering services promptly with the complete satisfaction of customers, regulators and the civil society.

Its mission is to provide the best foreign exchange services to respective customers with complete integrity and carrying out work.

With real time online system and a Variety of Business providers supported by professionals, performing with the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior, the company has made a remarkable progress and attained a strong credibility in the foreign exchange market of the country. This continuing success is the result of professional management, focus on systems and capitalization, research and most important is responsiveness to every aspect of client needs.

Zarco Exchange Company (Pvt) Ltd

All transactions and payments processed by ZARCO comply with the applicable regulations, in accordance with the international rules and codes of the applicable legal bodies.

The Exchange is regulated under the Legal framework set out by the Central Bank of Pakistan and has been designated by SBP as the country’s premier ‘Role Model Company.’ It is the first company to have a live OFAC Scanning mechanism.

Main objective is to provide customers with seamless, cost-effective service and the best financial services in Pakistan and beyond. The efforts are strongly supported by the Government of Pakistan.

ZARCO is authorized by the Central Bank of Pakistan wiz: State Bank of Pakistan, Karachi to issue Encashment Certificates as under: “Certificate of Encashment of Foreign Currency” is issued to the beneficiaries for the Remittances received from abroad and to be paid in Pak Rupees. There is no restriction from State Bank for issuance of ‘Certificate of Encashment of Foreign Currency’ against these remittances.

ZARCO Exchange is Licensed and Regulated by the State Bank of Pakistan under Exchange companies ordinance 2002. ZARCO Exchange is one of the leading company providing services worldwide in collaboration with renowned and trustful Money transfer companies.

Sky Exchange Company (Pvt) Limited

Sky Exchange Company (Pvt) Limited is doing currency exchange business since 2004 with a good market reputation and customer equity. It got the Exchange Company Category (B) license from State Bank of Pakistan in 2004. After the recommendation from SBP it successfully granted full fledged Exchange Company license in March 2011.

It deals with around 500 customers every day in respect of foreign exchange sale and purchase with offices located at four locations in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

It is in the process of implementing large expansion plan to grow our branch network throughout the Pakistan.

Habib Qatar International Exchange Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd

It is an emerging exchange company in Pakistan with strong financial and professional expertise of devoted management.

Incorporated as a private limited company under license issued by the State Bank of Pakistan, the company commenced its operations from April 27, 2005.

With real time online system and a host of talented professionals, performing with the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior, the company has made a remarkable progress and gained a strong credibility in the foreign exchange market of the country.

This continuing success is result of professional management, focus on systems and capitalization, research and most important is responsiveness to every aspect of client needs.

‘Customer is prime’ is the motto and the client satisfaction is the only way to sustained improvement. The activities are geared towards provide supreme services to customers and to take effective part in the economical growth of the country.

Sky Exchange is committed to providing its customers with the best personalized service, competitive foreign exchange products and rates, and expertise you can count on.

Pakistan Currency Exchange (Pvt) Ltd

Pakistan Currency Exchange (Pvt) Ltd was incorporated under Companies Ordinance 1984 on 20th June 2003, in Karachi, Pakistan.

In 70’s thousands of Pakistani nationals left for Middle East, Europe, and USA for better prospect and to earn livelihood. After about two years, inward foreign exchange remittances increased manifold and during next decade, it become necessary to have money exchange business regularized.

More companies in business

The money changing business was granted legal status and State Bank of Pakistan authorized money changers to conduct money changing business in year 1991. Since then M/s Bostan International, was incorporated on 30th Dec, 1992 and has been doing business of money changing.

Under the directive of State Bank of Pakistan, (F. E. Circular No.9 Dated 30th July, 2002 Promulgation of Ordinance No. XXX of 2002 for the amendments in Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1947) for establishment of Exchange Companies, which were required to replace the existing system of authorized money changers, last date mentioned as 30th July, 2004.

In the light of above fact, M/s Pakistan Currency Exchange Company (Pvt) Ltd was incorporated under the Companies Ordinance 1984 in Karachi, Pakistan to cope with the present working environment.

Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), vide Company Registration No issued certificate of Incorporation: K-09411 of 2002-2003. Furthermore, State Bank of Pakistan has also issued Exchange Company License No: 13, under state Bank of Pakistan Letter No: EPD/9180/24(31) EC-/2003 dated 14th Nov, 2004 and renewable after three years.

Summarizing the role of eminent Exchange Companies in Pakistan the exchange companies should focus on their prescribed financial business and keep the transactions clean and clear. SBP will take strict punitive action against exchange companies, if they involved in illegal businesses like money laundering, hawala or hundi business.

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