By: Latifa Yusuf Masai
Somalilandsun – Customers of Dahabshil have sighed in relief following announcements that the Barclays Bank has exempted the biggest Somali Money Service Business-MSBs from its account closure.
In an intervie with chanel4 news a senior Barclays bank official said “We have now decided to extend the deadline for some companies including Dahabshil”
This statement relates to the three weeks closure notice given by Barclays to the 17 Somali MSB had elicited a lot of pressure from the MSB and others including professionals and the CEO of Dahabshil Abdirashid Duale.
With this reprieve customers of Dahabshil can now sleep in peace in the knowledge that their monthly remittances are in safe hands since the Barclays Bank reprieve literally translates to Dahabshil having all the safeguards against money laundering and terrorist financing in place.
With Millions of Somalis depending on remittances from the diaspora, Dahabshil which is the biggest of the 17 Somali MSBs has a majority share of the estimated USD500m sent home annually.
According to Dahabshil CEO the Barclays account closure would have created insurmountable difficulties not only for the giant MSB but for its clientele as well “It will be hard for us as when we go to another bank; they will ask us why Barclays wanted to close our account”
So far the Somali Money Services Association (Somsa), a UK trade body for the money transfer industry, has confirmed that 12 of its 17 members have already lost their accounts in the UK, including at Barclays and HSBC. The letter to the FCO says Barclays – the last UK bank providing services to MSBs – is to withdraw services from up to 250 remittance companies.