Economy, Business And Markets

Central Bank Warns Illegal Forex Operators

Central Bank Warns  Illegal Forex Operators Central Bank Warns  Illegal Forex Operators

The Central Bank of Iran does not believe in force and coercion to address economic problems, the governor Valiollah Seif said late on Monday.

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting on ways to curb economic crime, Seif however pointed to the disruptive and detrimental  activities of brokers and middlemen in the economy saying that “the CBI is determined to crack down on activities and people undermining  the economy through their speculative and illegal activities,” Mehr News Agency reported.

He said is the official website through which people can have access to the forex rates. “The website provides authentic forex rates and at the same time helps improve transparency in the forex market,” he added.

“The forex rates and prices announced by the other websites are not official and cannot be trusted.”

Regarding the situation of the bureau de change shops, the CBI chief noted that the regulator has the role and responsibility of monitoring and regulating the forex market. The money changers can operate only if they have the necessary permits issued by the CBI. “We will not allow unregistered forex shops to be active in the forex market.”

 Ban on Online Rates

As foreign exchange rates continue their downward slide in the market, the Central Bank of Iran, in an unusual move, decided last week to ban websites from publishing forex rates in the parallel market.

The US dollar was sold at 35,350 rials on Tuesday, down from 36,260 rials on Feb. 3.

Some websites have stopped announcing exchange rates for the US currency and the euro, while some websites have been blocked until further notice.

An unnamed CBI official told Mehr News Agency that the central bank had warned 20 websites not to carry the daily forex rates.

He said the CBI had repeatedly asked the website owners to report “accurate forex rates” – calls that were respected in the breach.

“The websites were announcing the highest rates in the market, especially when the rates were coming down in the market,” he said on the condition of anonymity.

 Only certified currency exchange shops are allowed to announce rates on their websites, he said.

 Unauthorized Lenders

Seif also pointed to the issue of unauthorized credit institutions, saying that his bank will escalate its measures against the unruly lenders.

“The issue of the unauthorized lenders has reached a critical and urgent point. The central bank will henceforth take a much stronger stance against these credit institutions,” he said without specifying what those measures would be.

He asked the Law Enforcement Forces to help the CBI in resolving the nuisance of the unofficial money market and the unauthorized credit institutions. Seif was of the opinion that the unlicensed money institutions should be stopped “in their very first stages of their inception and before being able to expand.”