Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Thursday, August 29, 2013

BARCLAYS: DO NOT GIVE IN TO PRESSURE TO KEEP MSB ACCOUNTS OPEN OF COMPANIES THAT TRANSFER TO COUNTRIES WITH NO AML/CFT


The news, that certain developing countries are exerting political pressure upon Barclays Bank to reverse its decision to close MSB accounts, where the companies transfer funds to countries that have no effective AML/CFT, is extremely disturbing. If expats in the UK have sufficient money to send remittances home, using money service businesses, they can certainly join the ranks of those who have bank accounts, and send funds through real financial institutions, with real compliance. Most of them enjoy a decent standard of living, and I do not buy the argument that they cannot afford to maintain a bank account.

Some third-world MSBs, as we have learned, are controlled or owned by criminal organizations; others are making extortion payments to global terrorist organizations. Many MSBs have non-transparent ownership, which conflicts with banks' responsibility to "Know their MSB."

I fully understand the arguments for keeping the MSB accounts open, but I respectfully disagree; the risk of facilitating money laundering, or of facilitating terrorist financing, trumps the expat public's needs for a less expensive funds transfer resource, especially when we see that designated terrorist groups either take money from them, or use their facilities to operate. Foreign politicians, leave Barclays alone, please.

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