Somalia: Westpac Bank threatens to stop remittances to Australia

Nov 19, 2014

Westpac Bank is the latest financial institution to threaten to close the bank accounts of Somali money transfer companies.

Westpac Bank is the latest financial institution to threaten to close the bank accounts of Somali money transfer companies.

Several other Australian banks have previously banned such accounts, thus blocking remittances from the 20,000 Somali migrants based in Australia.

The move comes after many
banks
across the globe decided to close the bank accounts of Somali money transfer companies over concerns that the money transmission sector was at risk of being used for money laundering and terrorist funding, and did not meet new regulatory requirements.

Barclays Bank tried to stop providing services in 2013 to 250 money transfer businesses serving Somalia.

Somalian money transfer operator Dahabshiil
applied to the high court for an interim injunction, stating that Barclays' termination of its account lacked "objective justification".

Barclays has defused the legal row by agreeing to keep its account open for a period of time that allows the company to find a replacement bank.

The UN estimates that 40 per cent of the Somali population relies on remittances from migrants.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801760999-ADNFCR