The National Bank of Hungary has fined Budapest-based financial service provider HANIFA 25 million forints (EUR 70,620) for conducting unauthorised currency exchange activity and banned the company from continuing the activity with immediate effect. The NBH already issued a warning to consumers concerning the matter last year and also made a criminal complaint. The NBH 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 the NBH carried out a covert test transaction and conducted an on-site inspection at the company, where nearly thirty currencies worth almost 170 million forints were found, including Malay ringit and Thai baht in addition to the popular currencies. The NBH 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 NBH during the proceedings and with its conduct helped to uncover the facts.