Somalilandsun – Remittance companies breathed a sigh of relief in America as President Obama signed into law the Money Remittance Improvement Act championed by Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District U.S House representative Keith Ellison.
The Money Remittance Improvement Act law improves regulation for nonbank financial institutions such as money service businesses by allowing federal regulators to rely on approved state exams. The law will reduce the regulatory burden on money services businesses which have come under the scrutiny of the government of the America and national and international banks both in the US and Europe which they currently have accounts with after disclosure rules were tightened due to high level compliance failures and large financial penalties for some major banks in the recent past.
“This is a great day for Diaspora communities around the country, including the Somali and among communities I am proud to represent,” Rep. Ellison said.
“Remittances are a lifeline for the loved ones of many Minnesotans. With the signing of this new law, Congress and the President took an important first step to improve the processes by which families and businesses send money home, making them simpler and easier to follow. I applaud the President for signing this bill into law.”
“This is great news for us because sometimes we are made to feel like we are money smugglers but now the law is clear and we can get on with our business,” said a Somali American Minnesota based Money operator. “It is a real relief for us all. Thank you to our representative Mr. Ellison. He fought hard for us.”
“We used to be audited twice and there was a lot of suspicion about what we did,” said Abdi Ali, another Somali American Money Operator business manager. “Now with this bill we can cut our overheads and explain to people more easily what we do.”
For many Minnesotans the passing of this Bill was a crucial step in securing the lifeline that supports their families back home in Somalia and inevitably keeps the family bond strong.
“I send home about $1000 a month to 4 families and they use it for essentials and if it is banned I don’t know what I will do because Somali has no bank for me to transfer money to from here,” said a mother of 3 who did not want to be named.
“All the money laundering stuff the government’s worried about we don’t see. I just worry about getting the money to my family in Somalia,” continued the lady angrily.
The Money Remittance Improvement Act law is supported by The Conference of State Bank Supervisors, Money Transmitter Regulators Association, Oxfam America, African Development Solutions (ADESO), the Somali American Remittances association, Tawakal Money Express, Kaah Express, Dahab-shiil, Amal USA Inc, and the Somali Action Alliance, and The Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota support the bill.
HOL English Desk