UK Money Transmitters Association hires Four to tackle banks

The international money transfer industry is campaigning for UK Government action to tackle problems caused by the withdrawal of services by banks.

Cashing out: Banks are distancing themselves from money transfer (Credit: Thinkstock)
Cashing out: Banks are distancing themselves from money transfer (Credit: Thinkstock)

UK Money Transmitters Association (UKMTA), the trade body for the sector, has engaged Four Public Affairs after HSBC and, more recently, Barclays moved to close the accounts of some of its smaller members. It claims Barclays has historically served 70 per cent of members.

UKMTA chairman Dominic Thorncroft said the Barclays move meant a significant portion of his membership that were processing cash payments were no longer served by any of the big four banks.

Thorncroft said: 'Our members are struggling. You need a bank account to do this business. This is affecting providers catering to groups from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Colombia and West Africa.'

The UKMTA is pursuing a two-pronged strategy of engaging with government and relevant institutions to ensure the sector will still be served by banks while appealing to Barclays to give companies time to make alternative banking arrangements.

Four Public Affairs will help member companies speak with one voice and lobby a selection of their local MPs, according to agency director Jim Dickson.

Engagement with MPs has helped the UKMTA secure a meeting this Thursday with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid.

Banks' disengagement from the sector comes against a background of concerns about the risks of involvement with money transfers.

In December, HSBC agreed to pay US regulators $1.9bn (£1.2bn) after a long-running investigation to settle allegations it failed to enforce money laundering controls.

However, an HSBC spokesman said the start of its withdrawal from the sector last autumn was due instead to a global strategic rethink.

A Barclays spokesman said the bank was not comfortable dealing with money transmitters that do not have the controls to spot money laundering, terrorist financing and the payment of proceeds of criminal activity.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.