Who are Authorized Money Changers (AMCs)?

  • May 06, 2024
  • Dushyant Sharma
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When it comes to the foreign exchange industry in India, the Authorized Money Changers (AMCs) play an important role. AMCs are authorized to partake foreign exchange currency or money changer activities under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

 

In this article, we will discuss who the Authorized Money Changers (AMCs) are in detail.  

Overview of Authorized Money Changers (AMCs)

Authorized Money Changers (AMCs) are entities that are authorized by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), under Section 10 of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999. 

 

According to Section 2 of FEMA, an ‘Authorized Person’ refers to an authorized dealer, money changer, off-shore banking unit or any other person who is, for the time being, authorized to deal in foreign exchange or foreign securities under sub-section (1) of Section 10 of the Act.

What are the Types of Authorized Money Changers (AMCs)?

An Authorized Money Changer (AMC) can either be a Full Fledged Money Changer (FFMC) or a Restricted Money Changer (RMC). Restricted Money Changers (RMCs) are only authorized to buy foreign currency notes, coins and traveler’s checks after which they are required to turn over each collection to a licensed foreign exchange dealer or a full-fledged money changer in turn.

 

Full Fledged Money Changers (FFMCs) are authorized to conduct both buy and sell transactions with the general masses. They are authorized to perform forex currency or money changer activities upon the grant of FFMC license by RBI. FFMCs are authorized to buy foreign exchange from residents and non-residents who visit India and to sell foreign exchange for certain approved purposes, including the conversion of currency notes, coins or travelers’ cheques designated in foreign currency into Indian Rupees and vice versa.

 

Unless in possession of a valid RBI-issued money changer’s license, no person shall carry or advertise that he carries the business of money changing. If a person is found to be undertaking money changing business without the possession of a valid FFMC license, he is liable to be penalized under the FEMA Act.

 

Note: The RBI has discontinued the scheme of RMCs. However, certain RMCs that function within 10 km from Pakistan and Bangladesh’s borders are permitted by RBI to operate for the time being.

Who is granted the FFMC License by RBI?

At present, RBI issues authorization under Section (10) of FEMA, 1999 to the following entities:

  • Select banks (as Authorized Dealers Category - I) to carry out all permissible current and capital transactions.
  • Select entities (as Authorized Dealers Category - II) to carry out specified non-trade related current account transactions, all the activities permitted to FFMCs and any other activities which are decided by RBI.
  • Select financial and other institutions (as Authorized Dealers Category - III) to carry out specific transactions related to foreign exchange that are incidental to their business activities.
  • Select registered companies (as FFMCs) to undertake purchase of foreign exchange and sale of foreign exchange for specified purposes, like private and business travel abroad.

List of Authorized Money Changers in India

Mentioned below are the lists of Authorized Money Changers (AMCs) in India.

Public Sector Banks

Sl No

Bank Name

LEI (Legal Entity Identifier) Number

1

Bank of Baroda

549300CQ6M9Q0TJEZR23

2

Bank of India

21380058KMSRJIL8C294

3

Bank of Maharashtra

3358006F5LXCNN65HW12

4

Canara Bank

335800E4RH82Z8XC3C30

5

Central Bank of India

335800HLI3VBT9FVQE81

6

Indian Bank

5493008JR8FCVQ6FJL94

7

Indian Overseas Bank

335800QFIPQ9AFX1CS84

8

Punjab & Sind Bank

335800SUILZU95L98637

9

Punjab National Bank

335800LE3GBR6I412V82

10

State Bank of India

5493001JZ37UBBZF6L49

11

UCO Bank

549300LJX4CMNFEQEJ54

12

Union Bank of India

5493000P4HD6132SQ711

 

Foreign Banks

Sl No

Bank Name

LEI (Legal Entity Identifier) Number

1

AB Bank PLC

335800VOLFWHZGCROV17

2

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

JHE42UYNWWTJB8YTTU19

3

Bank of America NA.

B4TYDEB6GKMZO031MB27

4

Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait B.S.C.

549300MCPF5HTBF8ZR90

5

Bank of Ceylon

213800DG2M8QX22U6P30

6

Bank of China Limited

54930053HGCFWVHYZX42

7

Barclays Bank PLC

G5GSEF7VJP5I7OUK5573

8

BNP Paribas

R0MUWSFPU8MPRO8K5P83

9

CTBC Bank Co Ltd

549300JI5RKNDKC3GU44

10

Citibank N.A.

E57ODZWZ7FF32TWEFA76

11

Cooperatieve Rabobank U.A

DG3RU1DBUFHT4ZF9WN62

12

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

1VUV7VQFKUOQSJ21A208

13

Credit Suisse AG

ANGGYXNX0JLX3X63JN86

14

DBS Bank India Limited

549300ENVN6HVF50YV87

15

Deutsche Bank AG

7LTWFZYICNSX8D621K86

16

Doha Bank Q.P.S.C.

549300O5KAG21BMZ8N83

17

Emirates NBD Bank (P.J.S.C)

5493003UOETFYRONLG31

18

First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC

2138002Y3WMK6RZS8H90

19

(Surrendered Banking Licence to RBI and in process of winding up)

Firstrand Bank

ZAYQDKTCATIXF9OQY690

20

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited

5493002ERZU2K9PZDL40

21

Industrial Bank of Korea

988400RBIWE3YA18PK12

22

JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A.

7H6GLXDRUGQFU57RNE97

23

JSC VTB Bank

253400V1H6ART1UQ0N98

24

KEB Hana Bank

6RPK2YDJN6L35AS0M510

25

Kookmin Bank

335800X9O2LHZ2B9N337

26

(Surrendered Banking Licence to RBI and in process of winding up)

Krung Thai Bank Public Company Limited

54930007ZQMYCRFQGE36

27

Mashreq Bank p.s.c

5493000SA3K24EQKA103

28

Mizuho Bank Limited

RB0PEZSDGCO3JS6CEU02

29

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

C3GTMMZIHMY46P4OIX74

30

NatWest Markets Plc.

RR3QWICWWIPCS8A4S074

31

NongHyup Bank

254900OANRVRV5DFM013

32

PT Bank Maybank Indonesia TBK

549300RHDK5D1O3JHU60

33

Qatar National Bank (Q.P.S.C.)

549300FFSRVBS0SQXY75

34

SBERBANK

549300WE6TAF5EEWQS81

35

Shinhan Bank

5493003P813VL21KG928

36

Societe Generale

O2RNE8IBXP4R0TD8PU41

37

Sonali Bank PLC

549300VE2H041QJDRU79

38

Standard Chartered Bank

RILFO74KP1CM8P6PCT96

39

SBM Bank (India) Ltd

335800X9LPH6HZ1Y9R82

40

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

5U0XI89JRFVHWIBS4F54

41

The Bank of Nova Scotia

L3I9ZG2KFGXZ61BMYR72

42

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

2HI3YI5320L3RW6NJ957

43

United Overseas Bank Limited

IO66REGK3RCBAMA8HR66

44

Woori Bank

549300VUVMRL6RE7R376

 

Private Sector Banks

Sl No

Bank Name

LEI (Legal Entity Identifier) Number

1

AU Small Finance Bank Limited

3358006J6L5P5MWKCU97

2

AXIS Bank Limited

549300HVNWMJPOFVNI41

3

Bandhan Bank Limited

335800Q13QAC32IOCH33

4

City Union Bank Limited

33580024M7FWA847JI64

5

CSB Bank Limited

335800R8M2WRZKDHJC88

6

DCB Bank Limited

549300HLUOQ4ZGINVI30

7

Equitas Small Finance Bank Limited

335800MZBFLSP1VQKJ89

8

ESAF Small Finance Bank Ltd

335800H9TMOMGKSV3Y60

9

HDFC Bank Limited

335800ZQ6I4E2JXENC50

10

ICICI Bank Limited

R7RX8ER1V4666J8D1I38

11

IDBI Bank Ltd

335800UL1OJYBFEAPY30

12

IDFC FIRST Bank Limited

335800SBNAPYVT1D2K13

13

IndusInd Bank Limited

335800JDVJ8HSXG9G512

14

Karnataka Bank Limited

335800G1GTTVASBXVW10

15

Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited

335800E6GTTXKHXE2I75

16

RBL Bank Limited

335800JQTGMLAAQL1F37

17

Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Limited

335800AYAN6LJY14L887

18

The Dhanalakshmi Bank Limited

335800CKSGJELHJHQ768

19

The Federal Bank Limited

335800J8VWGE2HGWF417

20

The Jammu & Kashmir Bank Limited

3358003EPKRYNVG21Y80

21

The Karur Vysya Bank Limited

335800GFMDHTPWI6JP97

22

The South Indian Bank Limited

3358003CCMTPZUJOKC45

23

Unity Small Finance Bank Ltd

335800A2MTFVQEWJ95

24

YES Bank Limited

335800X6WKDDXJUSFZ86

 

Co-Operative Banks / Financial Institutions / Others

Sl No

Bank Name

LEI (Legal Entity Identifier) Number

1

Abhyudaya Co-op. Bank Limited

335800KG5M297IU4T791

2

Bassein Catholic Cooperative Bank Ltd

335800BNB6QJGLLQUK34

3

Bombay Mercantile Co-operative Bank Limited

335800EBHPQ6523F7208

4

Export-Import Bank of India

335800OFZ8YEIVN1QI11

5

Goldman Sachs (India) Capital Markets Pvt. Ltd

BNYCRRX33E5OU2WAW724

6

ICICI Securities Primary Dealership Limited

33580097BSYRDB39A191

7

IFCI Limited

3358007NRXJW5PA61H06

8

Morgan Stanley India Primary Dealer Private Limited

9G2GJRT7BRGD6ZNJFT50

9

NKGSB Co-operative Bank Limited

335800SM3MDMBJGC2354

10

Nomura Fixed Income Securities Pvt Ltd

335800QFR6AM34FHIC10

11

PNB Gilts Limited

335800LD4MVSKJDWTR77

12

Small Industries Development Bank of India

3358003NTGA2D7D31E14

13

SVC Co-operative Bank Limited 

549300OM47Z0Z2E7XU45

14

The Bharat Co op Bank (Mumbai) Ltd

335800NLUFI5MTNO4878

15

The Clearing Corporation of India Ltd

335800CNVQFGRCP1PR55

16

The Cosmos Co-operative Bank Limited

3358003AVC4MGGOFRH54

17

The Kalupur Commercial Co-operative Bank Limited

335800WWUTVNXQETIF86

18

The Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank Limited

3358002SOIN1KGBDN953

19

The Saraswat Co-operative Bank Limited

3358004XZ5GSB1CB9E84

20

Thomas Cook (India) Limited

3358004YCPVBO1VKE410

21

TJSB Sahakari Bank Limited

335800RBBCLBCQHBEK54


Source: Foreign Exchange Dealers Association’ of India

What are the Functions of FFMCs?

RBI-registered FFMCs have the following functions:

  • FFMCs can purchase any foreign currency coins, notes or traveler’s cheques from non-residents that travel to India or residents that come to India after traveling abroad.
  • These Authorized Money Changers (AMCs) are also allowed to sell Indian rupees to the foreign tourists against their international debit/credit cards through necessary actions for full reimbursement through any normal banking channels.
  • In addition to the above, by entering into franchise agreement, FFMCs can also carry restricted money changing activities such as the conversion of foreign currency notes, coins, and traveler’s cheques into Indian currency.
  • Apart from these functions, FFMCs can also be involved in sales of foreign currency for the sole purpose of forex prepaid cards, business travel and private travel.

Inspection of Authorized Money Changers (AMCs) by RBI

According to Section 12(1) of FEMA, 1999, an officer of Reserve Bank of India who is specially authorized to inspect AMCs can inspect their books of accounts and other documents.

 

The AMCs must assist and cooperate with the Inspecting Officers while the inspection is being carried out. If an AMC fails to produce any books of accounts or other documents or to furnish any statement or information or to answer any question pertaining to the money changing transactions to the Inspecting Officer, it shall be considered as a contravention of FEMA’s provisions.

 

Inspecting Officers generally point out the following irregularities during their inspection of AMCs:

  • One irregularity is that the system of concurrent audit hasn’t been put in place or that the concurrent audit is not taking place as per the periodicity.
  • Another irregularity generally pointed out is that the foreign exchange rate chart is not displayed at a prominent place or not updated on a regular basis.
  • If the amount of forex tendered for encashment by a non-resident or a resident returning from abroad exceeds the prescribed limits for Currency Declaration Form and the CDF is not kept on record, the Inspecting Officer shall point out this irregularity.
  • If the payment exceeding 1000 USD is made in cash instead of account payee cheque, it shall be pointed out by the Inspecting Officer.

Conclusion

In India, only the Authorized Money Changers (AMCs) can deal in or transfer any foreign exchange or foreign security to any person. AMCs are authorized by RBI, under FEMA. It is necessary to receive authorization from RBI to carry out forex currency and money changer business activities. Want to obtain FFMC License to start a foreign currency exchange business? Connect with Registrationwala’s FEMA Consultants!


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Dushyant Sharma
Author: Dushyant Sharma

Hey there, I'm Dushyant Sharma. With the extensive knowledge I've gained in past 8 years, I have been creating content on various subjects such as banking, insurance, telecom, and all the important registration and licensing processes for various companies. I'm here to help everyone with my expertise in these areas through my articles.

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