UAE: Exchange houses to increase remittance fees by 15%

The decision aims to maintain competitiveness in exchange houses by addressing the increased costs.

Abu Dhabi: Exchange houses in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are expected to increase remittance fees for expatriates by 15 percent for the first time in five years.

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The announcement was made by the Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group (FERG) on Monday, February 12, stating that exchange houses under the jurisdiction of UAE authorities have received approval to implement an optional strategic fee adjustment.

This allows a minimum increase of 15 percent which typically equates to Dirhams 2.50 (Rs 56.50).

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The decision acknowledges the changing regulatory landscape and subsequent cost increases since the previous update.

In a statement, FERG said that the physical branch remittance services are expected to increase fees, while mobile app remittances are expected to remain unchanged or reduced to maintain digital competitiveness.

“FERG played a pivotal role in carrying out extensive market research and coordinating with the regulatory bodies to facilitate this crucial initiative,” it added.

The decision aims to maintain competitiveness in exchange houses by addressing the increased costs.

“I commend this decision to allow exchange houses a fee adjustment, highlighting the significance of adapting to the industry’s changing dynamics,” said Mohammad Al Ansari, Chairman of FERG. 

“This move ensures that exchange houses can sustain the delivery of high-quality services while addressing the changing regulatory requirements and associated operational costs, all of which were maintained without fee increases for the past five years.”

In 2021, the top five recipient countries for remittances from the UAE  included India, Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Philippines, according to a report by Statista on January 3, 2024.

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