Banking Interpretations

NYSBL 131.1; 640

January 6, 2004

Re: Licensing of Foreign Exchange Businesses

Dear [ ]:

Your e-mail dated September 30, 2003 to Governor Pataki has been referred to me for reply. I apologize for the delay in responding to you.

In your e-mail, you ask if you would need to be licensed in order to conduct a foreign currency exchange business in New York City. The New York State Banking Department does not license foreign exchange businesses.

Should you contemplate engaging in additional, but related, activities such as money transmittal, you would need to undergo licensing by the Banking Department. The Banking Department's Licensed Financial Services Division, which supervises, among other entities, licensed money transmitters, would be able to answer any questions you may have, and may be contacted directly at (212) 709-5507. In addition, I urge you to access the Banking Department's website, There you will find additional information and applications that may prove relevant.

You may have register as a money services business with FinCEN if you engage in the foreign exchange business. You should contact that agency for additional information through its website,

I trust the foregoing is responsive to your inquiry.

Sincerely yours,

Jay Kane 
Assistant Counsel

cc: Director of Consumer Affairs and Financial Products Kent