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HMRC internal manual

Money Laundering Regulations: Compliance

Business sector specific Guidance: Money Service Businesses: Introduction- Currency Exchange Offices

Currency Exchange Offices tend to operate either as ‘bureau de change’ who undertake retail transactions, or foreign exchange dealers offering to deal (and often remit) foreign currency for business and private users

Currency Exchange Offices offer a range of services to their customers:

  • exchange services which can be used to buy or sell foreign currencies
  • issuing travellers cheques and euro cheques
  • exchanging cash, travellers cheques, euro cheques and money orders.

They are commonly associated with travel agents and airports, department stores, cruise ships, ferries, and hotels. Many hotels however are excluded from the Regulations as they conduct business on an occasional or very limited basis and are able to meet the requirements under regulation 15 (3). They also include currency wholesalers.

The majority of their customers are holidaymakers. A proportion of their customers will be business travellers, and some will be private individuals wanting to buy assets (for example, property or vehicles ) abroad from sellers who want cash.

Some Currency Exchange Offices also carry out money transmission and/or cheque cashing.