The key to a more productive classroom is more recess

Friday, July 11, 2014

More and more US banks are getting out of the money-transfer business, Dealbook notes (paywall). A series of money-laundering scandals, punished by eye-popping fines, has made them cautious: Bank of America, HSBC, Citigroup and JP Morgan have pulled out altogether, while BBVA is reportedly looking to sell off a business unit that handles wire transfers in Latin America. And the fear is that rules intended to stop terrorists and drug traffickers are disproportionately hurting the families—and home countries—of migrants in the US who send money back home.

But the risk of accidentally doing business with a drug cartel is only half the reason the banks are getting out of this game. The other half is competition from new companies. The World Bank’s most recent report (pdf) shows that the average cost of sending money from the United States in the second quarter of 2014 was 5.78% of the sum sent—down from an average of 7.21% just five years ago. That puts the squeeze on margins just as banks are trying to consolidate into the most profitable activities.

Source: Quartz (link opens in a new window)

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