The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) has fined Budapest-based financial service provider HANIFA HUF 25 million for conducting unauthorized currency exchange activity and banned the company from continuing the activity with immediate effect, according to a report by state news wire MTI.
MNB already issued a warning to consumers concerning the matter last year and also made a criminal complaint.
The bank on Monday said HANIFA was earlier licensed as a key intermediary of a cooperative credit institution but its mandate was terminated. Nevertheless, the company continued to exchange money from June 1, 2019, the date of expiration of its license.
As part of a joint operation with the Budapest Police Headquarters, employees of MNB carried out a covert test transaction and conducted an on-site inspection at the company, where nearly thirty currencies worth almost HUF 170 mln were found, including Malay ringit and Thai baht in addition to the popular currencies.
MNB considered it as an aggravating circumstance that HANIFA, which had previously been on its supervisory register, was aware that the currency exchange activity was subject to a license. At the same time, the central bank considered it as a mitigating circumstance that the company cooperated with the MNB during the proceedings and with its conduct helped to uncover the facts.