The Barclays UK decision on the Somali MSBs accounts: @Barclays to reconsider its decision
  • Petitioning Mr Antony Jenkins
  • Responded

This petition will be delivered to:

Group Chief Executive
Mr Antony Jenkins
CEO, Retail and Business Banking
Ashok Vaswani

The Barclays UK decision on the Somali MSBs accounts: @Barclays to reconsider its decision

    1. Farhan Hassan
    2. Petition by

      Farhan Hassan

      London, United Kingdom

We are writing to request that the UK Government works with British banks to find a durable solution to the recent decision of Barclays to close its accounts with Somali Money Service Businesses (MSBs). Some have already been closed. Others are facing closure and uncertain future. With such a short timeframe, and without having provided a comprehensive explanation as to why Barclays wishes to sever its relationships with the MSBs, these companies are understandably finding it very difficult to find new partners to work with.

Now Mo Farah, Team GB’s two-time gold medal-winning runner at the London 2012 Olympic Games, has signed the petition and thrown himself behind the campaign. Like tens of thousands of other British Somalis Mo, who was born in the capital Mogadishu, relies on MSBs to send money back to his family, who use the money to buy basic staples like food. Their livelihoods are now under threat.

Mo’s charity, the Mo Farah Foundation, uses MSBs to transfer cash to some of the people hit hardest by drought in the world.

What is at stake is a lifeline that provides essential support to an estimated 40% of the population of Somalia. Somali MSBs provide fast, reliable and secure transmission of funds from the diaspora (estimated at approximately 1.5 million people) to their relatives at home. In addition, many other diaspora groups from the Horn of Africa – in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan – send remittances to their family members using the same companies. Not only do Somali MSBs provide essential services to the global Somali community, they also make it possible for international humanitarian and development organisations to provide vital support to Somalis in a country that lacks a more formal public banking system and where war and famine are visitors.

We call on the UK Government to:

> Assist the Somali MSBs in finding alternative banking partners, and to assemble the necessary compliance information needed to demonstrate their accountability to new partners

> Request that Barclays extends its termination deadline for at least twelve months for Somali MSBs so that the flow of remittances through licensed companies is not disrupted, and a more durable solution can be found in the meantime

> Convene a series of multi-stakeholder discussions, beyond Whitehall, that will work on developing the enhanced due diligence that the banks seem to require for this sub-sector of MSBs.

If enough people add their name to our petition we'll be able to send a strong message to Barclays to reconsider its hasty decision.

Olympic champion Mo Farah says:

"Cutting this lifeline would be a disaster for millions. The small sums sent home by British Somalis each week enable family members to buy food, medicines and other life essentials.

"I have been sending money home for a number of years and the Mo Farah Foundation, along with some of the world’s biggest international charities and organisations, including the United Nations, rely on these businesses to channel funds and pay local staff.

"Everyone following the issue understands that Barclays has a bank to run, but this decision could mean life or death to millions of Somalis. I’m urging them to grant an extension of at least twelve months to the affected businesses, and for the UK government to work with everyone involved to find a durable solution to the problem."

Already 105 leading academics and practitioners have sent co-signed letter to UK cross-party policymakers.

Please join us and call on UK Government to work with British banks to find a durable solution to the recent decision of Barclays to close its accounts with Somali MSBs.

Together we can make change happen!

Thank you.

To:
Mr Antony Jenkins, Group Chief Executive
Ashok Vaswani, CEO, Retail and Business Banking
Barclays
Barclays to reconsider its decision

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Somali Money Services Association: A Response to Barclay’s Recent Statement

      Farhan Hassan
      Petition Organiser

      "In light of recent statements issued by Barclays, SOMSA would like to address a number of inaccuracies in the public statements they have made.

      We note Barclays’s statement that 12 of SOMSA’s 16 members banked with banks other than Barclays, and that of the 4 that Barclays has asked to find another bank, at least 1 has been successful in re-banking thus far. These assertions are incorrect..''
      Full statement click here http://www.somsa.co.uk/somsas-response-to-barclays-recent-statement/

    2. Decision-maker Barclays responds:

      Barclays

      Thank you for inviting Barclays to respond to this survey. We welcome the opportunity to explain what is happening here and the reasons why.

      Firstly, the decision that has been made by Barclays has not been an easy one. From the outset...


    3. Reached 100,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • mohamed said LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, SWITZERLAND
      • 3 days ago

      Grandmother dependant on her monthly income

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • sofia hassan LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 9 days ago

      my family and other diaspora families this is how our loved ones abroad survive!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Daniel Lutaaya LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 16 days ago

      Dahabshilli Supports the community events without them African Nations Cup UK would be a failure. We need their CSR redered to our society in the UK. I support them and thanks to their support.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Daniella Palmer LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 16 days ago

      Help those in need!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • harvey mcleod HORSHAM, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 16 days ago

      dont know

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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