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IAMTN CEO Lady Olga Maitland Met With Uk Treasury Minister Ivan Lewis, Mp To Discuss Banks And Money Transfer Operators’ Difficulties With The European Union Payment Service Directive



Says Lady Olga:”The Minister would like to meet representatives of the money transfer sector and banks to hear personally the difficulties they face.”

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Ivan Lewis MP with responsibility for financial services including money transfers, met with Lady Olga Maitland yesterday.

During the meeting, Lady Olga set out the problems facing the money transfer sector in the light of the proposed EU Payment Services Directive which will impact heavily on them in terms of red tape and consequent costs. In addition they discussed the difficulties prompted by the EU Regulation on money transfers which have already taken effect.

The Minister told Lady Olga that he takes the money transfer sector very seriously. He is aware that the remittance market alone plays a key role in the economies of many developing countries. He stressed that this market is important and he wanted to hear first hand of their concerns. He added he was equally conscious of the vital role played by the banks and takes an interest in hearing their views as well.

Says Lady Olga:”In discussing the chances to amend the EU Payment Services Directive, it was made clear that we still have time over the next few months for the Treasury to make representations to the European Union Commissioner for the Internal Market, Charlie McCreevy thus safeguarding the interests of a very important financial services sector.

“The positive side of the EU Payment Services Directive is that it gives money transfer operators equal rights to function alongside banks. This is helpful for some companies but others will not be able to cope with the increased demands by the regulators. The danger is that some operators would then decide to function informally which will do little to protect the interests of the remittance sender.”

In the meeting, Lady Olga also highlighted the difficulties faced by the small money transfer operator in getting a bank to take his account. Without this, the business inevitably then goes underground.

Says Lady Olga,”The Minister took this on board, and said he would be willing to meet money transfer operators who have been affected in this way.

“At the Minister’s suggestion, I will now be meeting with his department officials setting out in detail the concerns of the money transfer operators and banks. We will then arrange separate meetings with the Minister for both banks and money transfer operators to explain their experiences and perspectives.”

“We also touched upon the importance of having a coherent and manageable anti-money laundering policy. It is important to get the balance right in terms of the maintaining a rigorous policy on fighting financial crime but at the same time listening carefully to the operators who find themselves heavily burdened with obligations. These are often either difficult to fulfil or very costly, the charge of which is then passed on to the remittance sender . This in turn means less to support their families back home.”


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