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Axe of banking services to hit minorities

SERVICES AXE: Minorities sending money abroad could be affected (PA)

BANKING GIANT Barclays has withdrawn some of its services from more than 250 money-transfers companies.

Many ethnic minorities living abroad rely on remittances from family and friends in the UK, with Somalis fearing Barclays’s decision to close its accounts with most remittance companies will cut a financial lifeline to millions of people in Somalia.

Philippe Lazzarini, the UN’s humanitarian official in Somali, said: “A huge number of Somalis rely on remittances, which are estimated to be as much as US$1.2bn every year more than the entire humanitarian operation in the country.”

Barclays said there was a risk that some of the firms might be “unwittingly facilitating money laundering and terrorist financing”.

Companies set to have their Barclays accounts shut down effectively ending their UK operations include one of Africa’s largest remittance firms, Dahabshiil.

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