Barclays urged not to close Somali transfer account

25 June 2013

A group of aid practitioners has urged the UK government to stop Barclays from closing the last remaining account in Somalia, which currently allows Somalis overseas to send money back home.

An estimated 1.5 million Somalis live overseas and their families rely on the money being transferred over and the group said the service was a "lifeline" for an estimated 40 per cent of the population.

Barclays told Dahabshiil - the largest money transfer business providing services to Somalia - the move was "a commercial decision" due to the risks of the sector, BBC News reports

Barclays said in a letter sent to Dahabshiil: "The decision to exit our business relationship with you is not a negative reflection of your anti-money laundering standards, nor a belief that your business has been unwittingly been a conduit for financial crime."

The group, which is made up of more than 100 researchers and aid workers, says that Barclays' plan to close its account with Dahabshiil on 10 July will cause a crisis for the families that rely on the service.

By Asim Shah

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