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IAMTN Establishes Task Force to Resolve Banking Challenges


The international Association of International Money Transfer Networks (IAMTN) is setting up a Task Force to tackle the key issues in relation to difficulties that its members have in accessing bank accounts. The decision was taken at the recent Money Transfer Dubai 2012 conference held on 27 March 2012 at the Grand Midwest Hotel, Dubai.

The Task Force, which will be comprised of members from a number of key regions, is being established to assist money transfer operators (MTOs) in opening bank accounts. Its key actions will include raising awareness of the significant difficulties MTOs face in trying to open accounts, engaging in discussions with regulators development agencies, and most importantly the banks themselves. The aim is to reach broad agreement with the banking industry on the criteria that are necessary for an MTO to open and maintain a bank account.

Currently banks in countries such as the USA, UK, Switzerland amongst others are not opening accounts for MTOs and in fact are closing accounts for certain operators. Some banks perceive that some remittance companies are potentially high risk clients and have therefore taken a blanket decision not to offer services to them. In some markets all the banks have ceased providing services to MTOs which means that they can not operate and as a result the transactions will be lost from the regulated to unregulated market.

‘Despite an increasingly vigilant global regulatory environment for money transfer companies, which has resulted in robust procedures in respect of anti-money laundering, it has become much harder for remittance companies to open bank accounts in many countries around the world’ explained Leon Isaacs, Managing Director of IAMTN. Isaacs continued, ‘By working in a constructive manner with the key stakeholders, especially banks, we are hopeful of developing a set of solutions that will resolve this major challenge. Our intention is to develop a ‘win-win’ solution through a mixture of education, awareness raising and dialogue’.

Veronica Studsgaard, CEO of IAMTN said: “We were delighted with not only the excellent attendance levels but also the high calibre and seniority of presenters together with the amount of business that was being undertaken during the breaks. This was one a number of highly informative and interactive sessions at these regular meetings for the money transfer industry in the Gulf and Asia regions. Key topics concerning regulation, new technology (including mobile and online payments), anti-money laundering and innovation were also covered. It is clear that money transfers is a growing area with a vibrant group of shareholders. We, at IAMTN, will continue to enhance our work with all stakeholders and to represent the industry wherever we can. In particular we will continue with the dialogues that we have started with regulators and central banks. We are delighted with the response we have received from all of the delegates.”



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