Foreign currency exchange services-not subject to MTA

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Opinion – “Foreign Currency Exchange Services – Not Subject to Money Transmission Act”

December 6, 2011

Dear ___:

This responds to your letter of October 26, 2011, and our telephone conversation of December 1, 2011 in which you request a determination as to whether the activities described in your letter would require licensing in California. You describe the facts as follows:

____ (____) is a Money Services Business licensed by the State of___.  ____ proposes to perform foreign currency exchange services in California wherein customers will exchange dollars for pesos and/or pesos for dollars. The service will be conducted in person, at ____’s exchange window.  ____ will not hold customer funds for future transmission nor be financially liable to the customer. Conceptually, the customer will physically walk into an ____ business location and purchase a commodity (pesos) at which time the transaction will be complete.

Under these facts, ____ is not engaged in money transmission and is not subject to licensing under the Money Transmission Act. Please be advised that our position is based solely on the representations contained in your letter and phone conversation. Any change in the facts or circumstances, as we understand them, could lead to a different conclusion. Sincerely,

/s/ Paul T. Crayton


Senior Counsel


               cc:      Robert Venchiarutti, Department of Financial Institutions, San Francisco