LENDING & CREDIT | Cesar Tordesillas, Indonesia

Indonesia revokes licenses of 28 money changers

Failure to meet minimum capital requirements.

Bank Indonesia has revoked the licenses of 28 non-bank money changers in Jakarta on account of this.

In 2010, the central bank set a Rp 250 million ($26,000) capital requirement for non-bank money changers established in Jakarta, Bali’s Denpasar municipality and

Badung regency, and Batam municipality, Riau Islands. Money changers operating outside of these areas are required to have a minimum capital of Rp 100 million.

These areas account for about three quarters of the money-changing market in Indonesia. The deadline for this requirement to be met was Sept. 5.

“When the deadline passed, it was found that 28 money changers did not comply,” Bank Indonesia spokesman Difi A. Johansyah said on Wednesday.

Idrus Muhamad, general secretary of the Money Changer Association (APVA) in Jakarta, said that most of the licences revoked were already inactive or dormant. 

“They cannot raise their capital to meet the requirement,” Idrus said.

The local association that groups money changers said the companies were victims of fierce competition amid loose enforcement of regulations.

According to Idrus, illegal money changers around made the competition unhealthy compunded by the entry of banks in the business.

He added that the central bank should upgrade current laws to allow for stricter enforcement, including the right to close down illegal money changers.

Money changers mostly cater to tourists.

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