Ideas to Action:

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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Yellen to Congress: US Anti–Money Laundering Policies Hurt the Poor

Rich countries’ anti-money laundering rules are “causing a great deal of hardship” by making it very costly for migrants to send money home. So testified Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen before lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee in Washington this week. It’s a problem a CGD Working Group is looking at right now: the de-banking of remittance organizations by many banks that cite burdensome compliance requirements.

The Can and Can’t of Cat Bonds

The emerging consensus is that the response to Ebola is a test that most rich countries failed. Given that the next public health challenge is a ‘when’, not an ‘if’, what can we do to be more prepared for the next emergency?

And Then There Were None? Banks Are De-Banking on a Grand Scale

In a few weeks’ time Australia’s Westpac bank will start closing down the accounts of money transfer organizations used by immigrants to send money home. Westpac is the last major Australian bank still offering services to organizations in the country’s US$25bn remittance sector.

 

 

The Unintended Consequences of Anti–Money Laundering Policies

De-banking is an ugly word, but it’s the focus of a new working group launched by CGD in Europe. Banks in rich countries, under pressure from anti–money laundering and counterterrorism enforcement efforts, are increasingly “de-banking” money transfer organizations that operate in poor countries. In other words, to prevent criminals transferring their ill-gotten gains around the world electronically, they are denying banking services to legitimate companies that are a vital route for millions of people and businesses. And we are talking huge sums of money.