Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Gambia's Central Bank ends suspension of money transfer operator, Ria

In June, The Gambia suspends Ria Financial Services and two other money transfer operators, as national currency continues to weaken. (Photo Credit: All In London)

The Gambia’s Central Bank (CBG) on Wednesday announced it is ending the suspension of the money transfer operator, Ria Financial Services.

Ria and two other money transfer operators [Money Express, and W@ri] were suspended in June - as the national currency, the Dalasi, continues to weaken against major foreign currencies and rising foreign exchange rates.

A CBG statement said the three financial bureaus are no longer allowed “to operate in the country’s foreign exchange market from June 21, 2013 until further notice”.

The Gambia’s financial market regulator labeled as “illegal” any foreign exchange transactions including sale and purchases through these money transfer operators (MTOs).

On October 23, the CBG said: “All commercial banks, finance companies, as well as licensed foreign exchange bureaux may now conduct money transfer operations or establish a business relationship with RIA Financial Services.”

But it keeps mute over the fate of Money Express, and W@ri. For the past year, the Dalasi continues to loss value against the US Dollar, the British Pound and the Euro.

“As recent as May 2013, it depreciated against the British Pound by 12.62 per cent, the US dollar by 11.87 per cent and the Euro by 12 per cent,” according to the economic think tank, the International Monetary Fund [IMF].

IMF’s Mission Chief to The Gambia, David Dunn, said although inflation has picked up during 2013, it is projected to stabilize at around 5 per cent a year by 2014.

Written by Modou S. Joof

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