Policy Brief

Stability and Security: Danish Somali Remittance Corridor Case Study

Author : Danielle Cotter and Tracey Durner
Date : February 2015

Remittance funds sent by the diaspora are often noted as a lifeline for Somalia, comprising a significant component of the economy and covering the costs of basic necessities such as food, education, and health care for millions of Somalis. Beyond providing vital support for short-term sustenance needs, many members of the Somali diaspora view sending remittances as a cultural tradition and a personal contribution to the rebuilding of their communities, including investment in the growth of business enterprises, financial stability, and economic development across Somalia.

This policy brief examines the Danish-Somali remittance corridor against the backdrop of recent MSB bank account closures, including those in the United Kingdom and the United States. It provides insight into MSB operations and remittance sending practices in Denmark, as well as background on the Somali diaspora there. The brief was informed by a combination of desk research and field consultations with Somali community members in the Danish cities of Aalborg, Aarhus, and Copenhagen. The brief offers recommendations to key actors including Danish AML/CFT regulatory authorities, Somali MSBs, and Danish financial institutions holding Somali MSB bank accounts, with the objective of preventing similar account closures in Denmark.

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