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Money transmission is an honourable profession


WEBWIRE

MONEY TRANSMISSION IS AN HONOURABLE PROFESSION
BANKS DO NOT NEED TO BE WARY OF THE
SMALL MONEY TRANSFER BUSINESSES
SAYS
IAMTN CEO: LADY OLGA MAITLAND

EARTHPORT, THE MONEY TRANSFER UTILITY
HAVE OFFERED TO TAKE UP THE CAUSE OF THE
MONEY TRANSFER BUSINESSES

Lady Olga Maitland, CEO of the IAMTN addressing a packed meeting of the UK Money Transmitters Association headed by Dominic Thorncroft and sponsored by Earthport said,”We have had many representations from the smaller money transfer operators who have complained that the banks will not take their accounts.

“We have observed today a classic example of the law of unintended consequence. An important component of Government policy in connection with the Send Money Home (SMH) Market is to encourage it to emerge from the hidden world of informal money transfer mechanisms. The effort to do this is being inhibited by the response of the banking sector to other Government pressures designed to bear down on money laundering activities.

“For the Send Money Home market to come out into the open where it can be seen and counted, Money Transfer Businesses who wish to operate in this Market need to have access to bank accounts. We heard at this Money Transfer Association meeting the representations of smaller money transfer operators who have complained that the banks will not take their accounts, and close down existing accounts without giving any reason.

“Without a bank account they cannot function. They cannot escape from the world of informal cash transactions with its costs, delays and lack of formal legal protection, and they are excluded from the recognition, help and support they would get from being in the mainstream. Moreover the public interest is not served by these enormous cash flows remaining hidden.

“I am very concerned about hearing that major banks such as Barclays, Lloyds TSB, HSBC and so on are reluctant to take them on as clients. Their risk-averse posture to these small businesses is hidden behind the money laundering regulations. The net effect is that enforcement of one element of public policy is frustrating the possibilities of success in a second area

“I intend to make sure that the UK government, through the Treasury are aware of these problems. Hopefully they will find a way of reassuring banks not to exclude an important financial services sector which plays a key role in supporting developing economies by the volume and value of remittances sent home.

“ The discrimination against the money transfer businesses is neither fair, just, nor in line with public interest. It infers that small money transfer operators are not honourable businesses. This is not the case. The citizens of the developing countries depend on their services for the remittances to reach the very people who need the support most.”

In the meantime the gap between the banks, and the money transfer businesses is seen as an opportunity by the Money Transfer Utilities. Earthport, the meeting sponsor, is one of these businesses and its Director of Marketing, Nick Dunlop commented,

“We see ourselves as being an interface between the banks and the money transfer businesses. To the banks we can present ‘validated’ money transfer businesses who have come through our compliance procedures as good candidates for bank accounts. To the money transfer businesses, Earthport is a route to the use of the formal international money movement mechanisms. We provide this use at a competitive rate.

“ Finally our intermediary function is absolutely in line with the public interest in that it is bringing the Send Money Home volumes into the visible money transfer world.”

For further information contact Lady Olga Maitland, CEO of IAMTN on 00-44 – (0)7778-917133 or +44-207-531-1347 olga.maitland@virgin.net
Dominic Thorncroft, chairman of UK Money Transmitters Association +44 (0)207-373-0111, mobile +44 (0)7956-375030 email dominic.thorncroft@chequepoint.com
Nick Dunlop, Earthport +44-(0)207-220-9700 m +44 (0)7717436939 email nick.dunlop@earthport.com



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