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Unlicensed Money Transmission Businesses

Published: Wednesday October 21st, 2015

The Central Bank is responsible for the licensing, regulation and supervision of non-bank money transmission businesses operating in and from within The Bahamas, pursuant to the Banks and Trust Companies Regulation Act, 2000 ("the Act"), the Central Bank of the Bahamas Act, 2000 and the Banks and Trust Companies (Money Transmission Business) Regulations, 2008. 

"Money transmission business", as defined by the Act, means "the business of accepting cash, cheques, other monetary instruments or other stores of value in one location and the payment of a corresponding sum in cash or other form to a beneficiary in another location by means of a communication, message, transfer or through a clearing network to which the money transfer business belongs and "money transmission services" shall be construed accordingly".

An example of the above includes, but is not limited to, the sale of stored value cards to facilitate card-to-card transfers of money or the transfer of money to a third party.

Pursuant to section 3A of the Act, all persons (other than licensed banks or trust companies) desiring to carry on the business of providing money transmission services must submit an application to the Central Bank for a licence to provide such services.

The public should note further that pursuant to section 3(7) of the Act, "Every person who contravenes ... section 3A shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both such fine and imprisonment and in the case of a continuing offence to a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars for each day during which the offence continues."

The public is hereby notified that all persons operating money transmission businesses without the required licence or registration are to immediately cease and desist operating and apply to the Central Bank for a licence or registration. Persons failing to comply with this notice are liable to criminal prosecution. 

If you suspect any person of providing money transmission services without the requisite license or registration or if a license or registration is not clearly displayed where such services are provided, you should immediately notify the Central Bank, utilising the contact details below, and provide as many details about the business as possible, including the business/trading name and the business address/location.

Information on the relevant application and policy framework may be accessed on the Central Bank's website via:

Information about persons operating money transmission businesses without the required licence or registration and any questions or concerns regarding this NOTICE should be directed to:

Authorizations & Administration Unit Bank Supervision Department The Central Bank of The Bahamas Market Street P.O. Box N-4868 Nassau, Bahamas Tel.: (242) 302-9873 Fax: (242) 356-3897 Email: [email protected]

21st October, 2015