Dar es Salaam. Uncertainty continues to surround the opening for business of a number of bureaux de change in the commercial city as the regulator conducts thorough investigations into their operations.
Over 50 bureaux de change in Dar es Salaam have not opened for business for one week now after the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) conducted an inspection into their undertakings.
Preliminary findings by the regulator established that some of these businesses were flouting the law, regulations and procedures associated with the money changing business.
The head of communications at the BoT, Ms Zalia Mbeo, said on Tuesday that the central bank will only be in the position to issue a complete statement on the matter after completion of the ongoing inspection.
“Inspection is still on. We will only issue a statement on which ones will resume operations and which ones will not upon completion of the exercise,” she said.
The Citizen has established that at least 52 bureaux de change in Dar es Salaam remained closed until yesterday as they awaited the regulator’s probe into their operations.
Until yesterday, Terminal, UAE, Kariakoo as well as Tanzania Post Corporation (TPC) bureaux de change were the only ones doing business in Dar es Salaam.
The service is also available in commercial banks.
TPC said earlier this week that it was planning to open forex shops in all its offices -- located across the country -- before the end of this month in a deliberate effort to cash in on the closure of money shops.
Postmaster General Hassan Mwang’ombe was quoted saying towards mid-this-month, its foreign exchange services will be available in 19 regions where TPC has offices, insisting that the corporation has financial muscles to do the job and at the same time adhere to laws, rules and regulations.
According to Mr Mwang’ombe, TPC would make its services available in Tanzania’s major airports and in border posts.
A statement published on central bank’s website by its relations and protocol department on February 28, said the suspension came after a February 27, 2019 inspection on the operations of bureaux de change in the city.
“On February 27, 2019, the BoT conducted a normal inspection on bureaux de change in Dar es Salaam and established that most of them were conducting the business in a manner that was not in compliant with the law, regulations and procedures…” the statement reads.
It stated that the BoT was in the process of revoking licences for the noncompliant money shops.
“The process is ongoing,” the statement reads in part, noting that in a similar countrywide inspection exercise that was conducted in December 2018, the Bot established that most money shops in the country were noncompliant with what has been stipulated in their business licences.
According to the statement, the February 27, 2019 exercise was in response to the defence -- filed with the BoT by bureaux de change owners -- in response to the regulator’s December 2018 enquiries.
No reason to worry
The BoT said in the statement that money changing services were available across various commercial banks, financial institutions, TPC and in some bureaux de change across the country.
Beware black market
The Bot warned people, seeking money changing services to desist from the allure of using informal channels.
Doing so, the BoT warned, poses a challenge of one’s money being stolen or being offered with fake notes.
Besides, the BoT said, making use of informal channels was against the law and that the government would take stern measures against those issuing the services and those making use of services.
At Terminal Bureau, the shilling was exchanging hands at Sh2,300/2,380 against the greenback while at UAE Bureau, it was going for Sh2,350/2,380.
At TPC’s shops, the local currency was exchanging hands at Sh2,300/2,390 while at Kariakoo, it was trading at Sh2,300/2,395 against the Dollar.
At NMB, the shilling traded at Sh1,301/2,395 while at TPB, it was at Sh2,320/2,380.
At Amana Bank, the local currency was trading at Sh2,322/2,402 whereas as CRDB Bank, it was exchanging hands at Sh2,285/2395.
At DTB, one dollar fetched Sh2,291/2,442.
More info: Closed bureaux de change in Dar
The following are the bureaux de change in Dar es Salaam that have not opened for business for one week now:
1. Mlimani City
7. I & R
9. Simple – located close to Askari Monument
17. Simple – located at Congo Street
18. Hosana - Congo Street
22. Simple – located at Clock tower
23. Hosana – located at Mnazi Mmoja close to Keys Hotel
26. Money Point
31. J Bureau
34. Al- Fayad
36. B & K
46. Sun City
49. Rawdhwa – located close to Mnazi Mmoja
51. Simple – located close to Mnazi Mmoja