Cash transfer services talks continue as deadline nears

With the Aug. 25 deadline approaching, negotiations continue to try to find a solution for cash transfer companies to stay open, according to a Jamaica National money transfer services representative.

Earl Jarrett, general manager of Jamaica National Building Society, which offers money transfer services, called Friday’s meeting with Cayman National Bank and government regulators “very productive.”

The money transfer services have to find a new way to move money from the Cayman Islands since Cayman National decided it would no longer offer banking services for companies like MoneyGram and JN Money Services.

The cash transfer industry has faced increasing global scrutiny and growing regulation in recent years as authorities in the United States and Europe seek to close loopholes for moving money to terrorist organizations and money laundering.

Western Union branches closed suddenly last month when Fidelity Bank’s board of directors decided to stop offering the service, leaving Cayman National as the only bank in the Cayman Islands offering banking services for cash transfers.

Mr. Jarrett said, “Both organizations are committed to work with correspondent banks to try and find an amicable solution.”

The bank did not extend the deadline, Mr. Jarrett said.

People in Cayman sent almost $180 million off island as remittances through these companies last year, according to Cayman Islands Monetary Authority data. Of that, about $110 million went to Jamaica.

Cayman National Bank and the Financial Services Ministry did not comment on the negotiations.

In an earlier statement, Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton said, “While any commercial decisions regarding money-services businesses are a matter for the businesses and the banks to make themselves, Government and [the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority] are arranging these discussions in order to address concerns on both sides, with the aim of ensuring that options remain open to consumers.”

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  1. I don”t understand how Mr. Earl Jarrett can call Friday’s meeting with Cayman National Bank and government regulators ”very productive” when the very next paragraph in this article states that ”The money transfer services have to find a new way to move money from the Cayman Islands since Cayman National decided it would no longer offer banking services for companies like MoneyGram and JN Money Services”.

    Is there only one bank involved in these meetings? If so, what is the reason why the other banks are not coming forward to offer banking services to the MSBs? Also, why would the correspondent banks in the U.S. be interested in finding an amicable solution when it is not in their interest to continue doing business with what they consider to be high risk banks and/or locations?

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  2. Quite a double standard. Mexico which is awash with drug cartel money and deals with $23 BULLION in Western Union remittances have no outside pressures applied because of NAFTA and being a strategic ally of the USA.
    Cayman on the other hand…$180 million..and we are financing terrorists.
    Tell me again??..overkill!!…FATCA.

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