Is this the end of an era? Because it sounds like the end of an era.
I’m sure many of you walking around the Microcentro have been accosted incessantly by those shady arbolitos, people who are usually leaning against a wall and quietly whispering the words “cambio… cambio…” (or “exchange… exchange…”) as they try to talk tourists into exchanging their precious dollars for Argentine pesos with the same tone that someone would use to ask if you want to see a dead body.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s an overly dramatic video from Infobae.
Anyway… great news, arbolitos! Because according to a statement issued on its website today, Argentina’s Central Bank has finally decided that banks and foreign currency exchange houses can now offer and perform foreign currency exchange operations on the street in order to make the service more accessible to tourists and the general public. You’ve finally been vindicated, guys!
(Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that anyone can just go out there in the street and offer to exchange cash.)
Those seeking to offer foreign currency exchange services on the street, however, will have to wear some sort of identification badge or clothes that make it clear that they work for a specific exchange house or bank. And yes, they will be able to exchange your money right there on the spot and in a completely legal way.
El Cronista also says that the Central Bank has also made it easier for businesses to register as foreign currency exchange houses, and it allows them to start operations as soon as they are cleared to do so.
The Centrl Bank intends to make it a lot easier for the general public to legally exchange money and at the same time curb the foreign currency exchange black market.
In a statement from the Central Bank, the financial institution says that “legal foreign currency exchange in Argentina is way underdeveloped since there are only sixteen foreign currency exchange houses and twenty currency exchange agencies. In Peru, for example, there are 1,242 people who are authorized to exchange money and 1,045 foreign currency exchange houses. In Colombia, there are 1,436 foreign currency exchange professionals.
So yeah. Time for an update, guys.