INSIDE LAKESIDE
Log In or Register

Check your spam/junk folder for activation e-mail after you register.

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by joyfull on Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:25 am

In the NY Times this morning


Immigrants From Latin America and Africa Squeezed as Banks Curtail International Money Transfers
By MICHAEL CORKERY  JULY 6, 2014 9:35 PMJuly 6, 2014 9:41 pm 97 Comments
Photo

»
As government regulators crack down on the financing of terrorists and drug traffickers, many big banks are abandoning the business of transferring money from the United States to other countries, moves that are expected to reverse years of declines in the cost of immigrants sending money home to their families.

While Mexico may be most affected — nearly half of the $51.1 billion in remittances sent from the United States in 2012 ended up in that country — the banks’ broad retreat over the last year is affecting other countries in Latin America and parts of Africa as well. The banks are being held accountable not only for the customers who directly use their money transfer services but also for their role in collecting remittances from money transmitting companies and wiring them abroad.

“This is transforming the business and may increase the costs of international money transfers,” said Manuel Orozco, a senior fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue, a research group in Washington.

JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America have scrapped low-cost services that allowed Mexican immigrants to send money to their families across the border. The Spanish bank BBVA is reportedly exploring the sale of its unit that wires money to Mexico and across Latin America. And in perhaps the deepest retrenchment by a bank, Citigroup’s Banamex USA unit has now closed many of its branches in Texas, California and Arizona that catered to Mexicans living in the United States and stopped most remittances to Mexico as it faces a federal investigation related to money laundering controls.

Regulators say the banking system was being exploited by terrorists and drug lords seeking to launder money. While they have not banned banks from engaging in higher-risk businesses like money transfers to certain countries, they acknowledge that banks must now invest significantly more to monitor the money moving through their systems or face substantial penalties.

But the government’s efforts to root out illicit activity have effectively put the banks into a law enforcement role, industry experts say. And the result is undercutting another public policy goal — helping immigrants, who are primarily low income, move into mainstream banking. Even with the current relatively low remittance fees, the costs can still add up. Some Latin American immigrants say they regularly send three remittances a week to pay for last-minute school supplies or rent.

Manuel Santiago, a 48-year-old Mexican living in Queens, said he sometimes pays $4 to send as little as $20 at a time to his son and daughter in Mexico. “I am supporting my family and things come up irregularly,” he said.

The pendulum has swung so far, participants in the industry say, that regulators are pushing banks out of some activities considered beneficial to the broader economy.

“The money transfer business has become the whipping boy of regulators who want to show how tough they are,” said Paul S. Dwyer Jr., chief executive of Viamericas, a money transfer company based in Maryland with a large focus on Mexico.

Shut out by many large banks, more of Mr. Dwyer’s customers are turning to large retailers in Mexico to pick up money sent from the United States, and some of those retailers charge money transfer companies as much as double the banks’ fees, he said. Mr. Dwyer’s company is recouping the additional costs by increasing the difference — or the spread — between what customers pay in dollars and what their family members receive in Mexican pesos.

A World Bank report on remittances found that the costs had been steadily falling over the last five years. But industry experts are expecting that trend to reverse.

A spokesman for Western Union, one of the largest remittance players, said the company was among those capturing business from the banks.

While immigrants say they have not noticed broad price increases from companies like Western Union, industry experts say higher costs are inevitable with fewer banks acting as middlemen for money transmitters.

“If you are the only game in town, you may be able to charge a premium,” said Daniel Ayala, head of global remittance services at Wells Fargo, adding that the bank has not passed increased regulatory costs to customers, leading to a decline in profits.

Many banks had considered remittances an attractive business because they generated steady fees and required little capital. In some cases, remittances could satisfy Community Reinvestment Act requirements to serve a certain percentage of low-income customers.

But the regulatory pressures and increased costs of compliance have started to outweigh the potential profits.

JPMorgan stopped its Rapid Cash program in November, partly because the bank grew concerned about some of the risks, a spokeswoman said. As part of its program, JPMorgan had teamed up with the large Mexican bank Banorte. Many people picking up remittances in Mexico sent from Chase branches in the United States were not customers of Banorte, making it more difficult to monitor them.

Last year, Bank of America canceled its SafeSend product, regarded as one of the least expensive ways for immigrants to send money to Mexico. A spokeswoman said the bank canceled the product because of “limited demand” and would not elaborate. A BBVA spokesman declined to comment on the possible sale of its Bancomer Transfer Services unit.

Some banks still make certain wire transfers to Mexico, but the costs of such services can be five times as high as a typical remittance, making it prohibitive for many immigrants.

Even if banks invested in new software to screen for worrisome transactions, they would still have to manually investigate many suspicious activities and report them to regulators. Banks fear that a single mistake could lead to costly penalties like the $1.9 billion settlement that the British bank HSBC agreed to pay over money laundering issues in 2012. HSBC has stopped paying out remittances at its Mexican branches.

And the heightened diligence can slow, or even stop, vital payments.

Domingo Garcia, a 36-year-old limousine driver in Los Angeles, said he grew frustrated with Wells Fargo when one of his family’s remittances totaling roughly $1,500 failed to clear. In the same week, he said, family members had tried to send another large remittance. His mother needed the money to pay for her chemotherapy treatment in Mexico. “The hospital was saying it would not give her the medicine until they were paid,” Mr. Garcia said.

Wells Fargo declined to comment on a specific customer’s transaction, but said there could be a number of causes for delays, including efforts to screen for fraud and the bank’s limits on the amount of transfers allowed each month. While the bank remains committed to Mexico, it has slowed the expansion of its money transfer network to other high-risk countries.

Citigroup’s Banamex USA, which has been ensnared in a criminal investigation related to money laundering, is an example of how compliance problems at an obscure affiliate can have serious consequences for a global bank like Citigroup. The New York parent has removed many of the veteran managers at Banamex USA and installed a “cleanup team” of executives to improve its compliance systems, according to a person briefed on the matter.

Citigroup inherited the small California bank when it acquired Banamex, Mexico’s second-largest bank after BBVA Bancomer, in 2001. Because Banamex USA was overseen by executives at Banamex’s headquarters in Mexico, it did not come under the same compliance systems as Citigroup’s units in the United States, this person said. It also wired cash on behalf of money transfer companies in the United States to Banamex accounts in Mexico, people in the remittance industry say.

In reality, it may be nearly impossible to fully monitor money flowing through some parts of the world. Regulators worry, in particular, about remittances to Somalia, a haven for terrorist groups with no formal banking system. Banks in the United States have had to wire money to banks in Dubai. Much of the money is then moved into Somalia through a network of traders.

One of the few banks willing to take that risk is Merchants Bank of California. But in the face of scrutiny from regulators, the bank has told some money transfer companies in cities with large Somali enclaves like Minneapolis that it may no longer be able to provide them with banking services.

Merchants Bank’s exit could be a big blow to Somalia, where remittances are a major source of income for a country that has suffered from recent famine, according to the antipoverty group Oxfam.

“We’re looking for alternatives,” said Abdulaziz Sugule, president of the Olympic Financial Group, a money transfer company in Minneapolis that Merchants Bank may drop, “but it’s going to be tough.”

Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Elisabeth Malkin contributed reporting.

A version of this article appears in print on 07/07/2014, on page A1 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Banks Curtailing Cash Transfers .


97
COMMENTS
SHARE
AFRICA, BANAMEX USA, BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION, BANKING AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS, CITIGROUP INC, IMMIGRATION AND EMIGRATION, JPMORGAN CHASE & COMPANY, LATIN AMERICA, MONEY LAUNDERING, REMITTANCES, UNITED STATES
joyfull
joyfull
Share Holder
Share Holder

Posts : 267
Join date : 2010-07-12
Location : West Ajijic
Humor : Lovingly sarcastic

Back to top Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Re: Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by papa chango on Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:09 am

F**k the USA. The land of the free? What a joke. I'm glad I got out of there when I did.
papa chango
papa chango
Share Holder
Share Holder

Posts : 355
Join date : 2012-05-15
Age : 81
Location : Ajijic
Humor : wit and sarcasm Cheech and Chong

http://lakechapalaexpat.blogspot.mx/

Back to top Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Re: Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by hockables on Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:30 am

I see some irony the US Government is tightening banking rules over personal/consumer funds at a time when the Largest US Corporations are making Foreign Acquisitions as a way of Removing Assets from US Tax System... opting instead to transfer funds as needed back to US      Beer

today on facebook


July 7, 2014   |  























Dozens of big U.S. corporations are considering leaving the United States in order to reduce their tax bills.

But they’ll be leaving the country only on paper. They’ll still do as much business in the U.S. as they were doing before.

The only difference is they’ll no longer be “American,” and won’t have to pay U.S. taxes on the profits they make.

Okay. But if they’re no longer American citizens, they should no longer be able to spend a penny influencing American politics.

Some background: We’ve been hearing for years from CEOs that American corporations are suffering under a larger tax burden than their foreign competitors. This is mostly rubbish.

It’s true that the official corporate tax rate of 39.1 percent, including state and local taxes, is the highest among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

But the effective rate – what corporations actually pay after all deductions, tax credits, and other maneuvers – is far lower.

Last year, the Government Accountability Office,  examined corporate tax returns in detail and found that in 2010, profitable corporations headquartered in the United States paid an effective federal tax rate of 13 percent on their worldwide income, 17 percent including state and local taxes. Some pay no taxes at all.

One tax dodge often used by multi-national companies is to squirrel their earnings abroad in foreign subsidiaries located in countries where taxes are lower. The subsidiary merely charges the U.S. parent inflated costs, and gets repaid in extra-fat profits.    

Becoming a foreign company is the extreme form of this dodge. It’s a bigger accounting gimmick. The American company merges with a foreign competitor headquartered in another nation where taxes are lower, and reincorporates there.

This “expatriate” tax dodge (its official name is a “tax inversion”) is now at the early stages but is likely to spread rapidly because it pushes every American competitor to make the same move or suffer a competitive disadvantage.

For example, Walgreen, the largest drugstore chain in the United States with more than 8,700 drugstores spread across the nation, is on the verge of moving its corporate headquarters to Switzerland as part of a merger with Alliance Boots, the European drugstore chain.

Founded in Chicago in 1901, with current headquarters in the nearby suburb of Deerfield, Walgreen is about as American as apple pie — or your Main Street druggist.

Even if it becomes a Swiss corporation, Walgreen will remain your Main Street druggist. It just won’t pay nearly as much in U.S. taxes.

Which means the rest of us will have to make up the difference. Walgreen’s morph into a Swiss corporation will cost you and me and every other American taxpayer about $4 billion over five years, according to an  analysis by Americans for Tax Fairness.

The tax dodge likewise means more money for Walgreen’s investors and top executives. Which is why its large investors – including Goldman Sachs — have been  pushing for it.

Some Walgreen customers have complained. A few activists have rallied outside the firm’s Chicago headquarters.

But hey, this is the way the global capitalist game played. Anything to boost the bottom line.

Yet it doesn’t have to be the way American democracy is played.

Even if there’s no way to stop U.S. corporations from shedding their U.S. identities and becoming foreign corporations, there’s no reason they should retain the privileges of U.S. citizenship.  

By treaty, the U.S. government can’t (and shouldn’t) discriminate against foreign corporations offering as good if not better deals than American companies offer. So if Walgreen as a Swiss company continues to fill Medicaid and Medicare payments as well as, say, CVS, it’s likely that Walgreen will continue to earn almost a quarter of its $72 billion annual revenues directly from the U.S. government.



I guess it's easier to go after ( and oppress ) the little guy


Last edited by hockables on Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:55 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : I'v been read'n)

hockables
Share Holder
Share Holder

Posts : 3736
Join date : 2010-04-06

Back to top Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Re: Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by Vandre on Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:50 am

Are Canadians still (and after 7/31 or 8/31) able to cash CAD checks in Mexico? And, are their check amount limits as meager as current (next 1-2 months) US limits?

Vandre
Share Holder
Share Holder

Posts : 174
Join date : 2011-07-25

Back to top Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Re: Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by slainte39 on Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:14 am

Vandre wrote:Are Canadians still  (and after 7/31 or 8/31) able to cash CAD checks in Mexico?  And, are their check amount limits as meager as current (next 1-2 months) US limits?

Intercam has informed that it will not exchange Canadian checks after 31 de ago. Multiva will if it is deposited into an account. Don't know about others.

slainte39
Share Holder
Share Holder

Posts : 8207
Join date : 2010-07-22

Back to top Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Re: Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by viajero on Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:55 am

papa chango wrote:F**k the USA. The land of the free? What a joke. I'm glad I got out of there when I did.
If you feel that strongly about it why don't you renounce your citizenship and quit cashing those Social Security checks?

viajero
Share Holder
Share Holder

Posts : 5755
Join date : 2011-07-26
Location : San Pedro de los Saguaros
Humor : Twain

Back to top Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Re: Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by David on Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:05 am

You don't have to be a citizen of the US to collect SS.
David
David
Share Holder
Share Holder

Posts : 5004
Join date : 2010-04-05
Location : Ajijic
Humor : Good

Back to top Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Re: Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by viajero on Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:16 am

David wrote:You don't have to be a citizen of the US to collect SS.
I didn't say you did.

viajero
Share Holder
Share Holder

Posts : 5755
Join date : 2011-07-26
Location : San Pedro de los Saguaros
Humor : Twain

Back to top Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Re: Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by David on Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:32 am

Some might be confused.
David
David
Share Holder
Share Holder

Posts : 5004
Join date : 2010-04-05
Location : Ajijic
Humor : Good

Back to top Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Re: Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by viajero on Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:40 am

Sorry for any confusion.
I just thought that if papa chango detests the USA as much as he appears to he might want to consider severing all ties with it,you know,put his money where his mouth is.

viajero
Share Holder
Share Holder

Posts : 5755
Join date : 2011-07-26
Location : San Pedro de los Saguaros
Humor : Twain

Back to top Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Re: Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by David on Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:48 am

Yup.
David
David
Share Holder
Share Holder

Posts : 5004
Join date : 2010-04-05
Location : Ajijic
Humor : Good

Back to top Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Re: Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by papa chango on Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:50 am

viajero wrote:
papa chango wrote:F**k the USA. The land of the free? What a joke. I'm glad I got out of there when I did.
If you feel that strongly about it why don't you renounce your citizenship and quit cashing those Social Security checks?

As far as I know, the money I receive from Social Security was contributed by me when I was working and paying taxes. I am too old to spend the time obtaining Mexican citizenship and renouncing US citizenship.

 Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US 87465   Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US 501432
papa chango
papa chango
Share Holder
Share Holder

Posts : 355
Join date : 2012-05-15
Age : 81
Location : Ajijic
Humor : wit and sarcasm Cheech and Chong

http://lakechapalaexpat.blogspot.mx/

Back to top Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Re: Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by slainte39 on Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:44 pm

You can quit cashing the checks w/o renouncing your citizenship, or renounce your citizenship and keep cashing the checks, or do neither, or do both.
So many options, it hard to know where to go.scratch  Rolling Eyes
 lol!

slainte39
Share Holder
Share Holder

Posts : 8207
Join date : 2010-07-22

Back to top Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Re: Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by RVGRINGO on Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:54 pm

What checks? They don‘t issue checks any more, do they? I thought everything was done by electronic transfers deposited to the recipient‘s bank.

RVGRINGO
Share Holder
Share Holder

Posts : 1460
Join date : 2011-02-16

Back to top Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Re: Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by Pedro on Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:30 pm

check your cheques
Pedro
Pedro
Share Holder
Share Holder

Posts : 4597
Join date : 2012-11-29
Age : 76

Back to top Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Re: Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by slainte39 on Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:18 pm

RVGRINGO wrote:What checks? They don‘t issue checks any more, do they? I thought everything was done by electronic transfers deposited to the recipient‘s bank.

Shhhh!!!
Viajero is a yung'un. I was saving that for a surprise for his sixty-two birthday.   Rolling Eyes 
RV....do you understand the worth of the term "spoiler alert"??? Very Happy

slainte39
Share Holder
Share Holder

Posts : 8207
Join date : 2010-07-22

Back to top Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Re: Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by RVGRINGO on Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:05 am

https://7img.net/users/1615/22/11/56/smiles/661816.gif
I didn‘t know that those young newbies were even familiar with paper checks.....oops!

RVGRINGO
Share Holder
Share Holder

Posts : 1460
Join date : 2011-02-16

Back to top Go down

Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US Empty Re: Getting Tougher to Transfer Money from US

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum