12 July 2013

Somalia: Barclays' Decision to Close Cash Transfer Business Accounts Meets With Criticism

United Kingdom-based Barclays Bank's decision to close about 100 accounts of money transfer businesses over fears they have inadequate prevention measures against money laundering has been met with widespread criticism.

"Barclays money transfer shutdown must be reviewed -- it damages Somalia for no good reason -- lifeline for our people," tweeted Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon on Thursday July 11th.

Barclays has granted several businesses a one-month reprieve, including Dahabshil, the largest provider of cash transfer services in Somalia, the BBC reported Wednesday (July 10th).

Dahabshil said it is urgently trying to meet Barclays's standards to keep the account open, as Barclays is the last major UK bank providing services to these transfer businesses.

The announcement has raised concerns about the transfer of remittances from Britain to Somalia, which supports about 40% of the population in the absence of banking services in the country.

"Closing these accounts will lead to a humanitarian crisis in Somalia," said Dominic Thorncroft of the UK Money Transmitters Associations.

Chief Executive Officer of Dahabshil Abdirashid Duale also warned that closure of the transfer businesses could force operations toward "unregulated and illegal providers".

Copyright © 2013 Sabahi. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.