When Waberi Souleiman sends money to his family back home in Djibouti in east Africa, he uses a private company to do this.
That’s because he’s trying to avoid the fees he said the big banks charge to send money to developing countries.
A member of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), Souleiman participated in a protest — one of many happening across Canada and in five other countries yesterday — to call for a reform of the global remittance system and to mark ACORN’s international day of action.
Some banks in the global remittance market have excessively high rates that hurt immigrant families here in Canada and keep muchneeded resources out of the developing world, members said yesterday.
According to ACORN, the money sent home by migrants is the second largest financial inflow to many developing countries, exceeding international aid. The organization is calling for these service providers to meet with representatives of ACORN to negotiate lower rates and improved services.
“When you send money to a person at home in Beijing or Seoul, for example, they might have to pay more money to receive it,” said ACORN member Michelle Walrond.
“They might have to pay $1,000 to receive $1,000. They will have spent 100 per cent. This is not only unfair, it should be illegal.
“We’re hoping to raise awareness.”