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ROCHESTER, MN — Months have passed since the last bank in Minnesota helped those in the Somali community send money to east Africa, but of those banks, one has come back and many hope this is a sign for things to come.
According to reports, us bank has agreed to open an account with Minneapolis based money service Dahab-Shil that will allow Somalis living in Minnesota to send money to their homeland. A vital resource that some say is the lifeline for family in the war-torn country.
“They take care of their mom. That’s our culture. To take care of their dad, mom and sister and brother and whoever is left over there who is hungry. Then that’s why we send the money for them and support them,” said Hussein Ali Ahmed of Rochester.
Since extremists were pushed out of Somalia in 2011 during the War on Terror, there has not been a central banking system in place, making it difficult to send money back for loved ones.
“The reason is they are suffering and they need support. If they didn’t get the money they need, they might die. Even One hundred dollars will help from starving for them,” said Mooge Ahmed of Rochester.
In the past year and a half, many banks chose to withdraw from these companies claiming regulation issues, but some hope with US Bank taking the lead, others will soon follow.
“That’s the good news for US Bank to accept to send money in Somalia or Africa or whatever. That’s the good news I hear and I’m so happy to of heard that. Again, I know they closed before but right now it’s good news and I appreciate that,” said Hussein.
Minnesota is home to the largest U.S. Somali community in the country and according to US Bank, this played a role in bringing back the service.
“We are pleased that we may have recently found a solution with one remitter – Dahab-shil. Although it has taken us some time to get through this process given the complexity of the issues and regulations, we expedited our approval and monitoring to the full extent possible. We are currently in discussions with this remitter to ensure all parties understand the terms and requirements necessary to allow us to properly manage the relationship. Once this occurs, we will move forward in a limited and deliberate fashion to open the bank accounts in the near future,” according to statement made by US Bank.
The bank believes transfers will begin soon.