x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Somalis’ financial lifeline may be cut

British bank Barclays is poised to sever its ties to Dahabshill, one of the Somali expatriate community's biggest money transfer services.

LONDON // A British bank could soon be cutting a financial lifeline for millions of Somalis.

Barclays is poised to sever its ties to Dahabshiil, one of the Somali expatriate community’s biggest money transfer services, as part of a reorganisation of its business. Barring a successful last-minute court challenge, experts say the move will jeopardise £100 million pounds (Dh587m) worth of payments made from the UK each year.

Barclays’ move, part of an industry-wide effort to insulate banks from the risks associated with money-laundering and corruption, could force Dahabshiil to stop executing transfers between individuals within days. A court ruling had been expected yesterday but was delayed.

Barclays and other British banks have been cutting high-risk clients after a slew of scandals involving money laundering and corruption.

Somalia has not had a functional government in two decades, and the flow of expatriate money to the troubled East African nation has repeatedly come under law enforcement scrutiny.

* Associated Press