Letter to Group Chief Executive of Barclays, Mr Antony Jenkins

Mr Antony Jenkins 
Group Chief Executive 
1 Churchill Place 
E14 5HP 

                                                                                                                         Our Ref: SI/JENK01002/01130461 

14th July 2013 


Dear Mr Jenkins, 

Re: Money-transfer firms operating with Barclays Bank 

We are writing to you following a meeting held on 2nd July 2013 at the House of Commons. This meeting 
took place with a number of businesses and MPs in attendance, all of whom have raised very serious 
concerns regarding the recent decision by Barclays Bank to withdraw the services it currently provides for 
UK money-transfer firms. 

As you are no doubt aware, money-transfer firms from across the UK have been in contact with their local 
MPs following these restrictions that have been imposed on their businesses and essentially having their 
services disrupted following the withdrawal of their accounts with Barclays Bank from 10th July 2013. 

Barclays Bank has recently decided to withdraw the accounts it holds for UK money-transfer firms, 
something which will negatively affect thousands of people and businesses across the UK, particularly 
ethnic minority communities. The decision will also impact the wider international community, because this 
vital function allows money-transfer firms to send funds from the UK to the places like the Indian 
subcontinent and Africa. 

According to the World Bank, recorded remittances from the UK totalled a $3.2billion in 2011. Officially 
recorded remittances to developing countries reached $530 billion in 2012. 

Remittance flows play an important role in providing direct support to families and poverty alleviation. 
Local business traders and our constituents are therefore concerned that this decision may lead to closure 
of these companies which provide vital service. We are also concerned that the market for money-transfer 
will be limited to a handful of companies causing fees to rise, resulting in decreases of remittances and at 
worst drive remittance giving underground. 

While we understand that several money-transfer operators have had the deadline for withdrawal 
extended by up to a month, we urge you to consider keeping the accounts you hold with money-transfer 
firms open as long as possible. We understand that several money-transfer operators had their accounts be 
closed on 10th July 2013 and others have had this extended by up to one month until 10th August 2013. 

We understand that the risk of financial crime is an important regulatory issue and that Barclays has 
concerns that money-transfer agencies might not have the proper checks in place to spot criminal activity. 
While it is right for Barclays to undertake reviews of its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism 
policies and take action against such activities, we believe that the criteria with which Barclays has decided 
to withdraw its accounts is unclear. Furthermore, Barclays needs to ensure it considers the wider value and 
contribution of money-transfer agencies to ethnic minority communities across the country as well of the 
economy of the UK and developing countries. 

We therefore urge you to consider delaying the withdrawal of these accounts for an extended period of at 
least 6 months, while alternatives solutions are sought. 

We would be grateful if you could consider this request as a matter of urgency and to arrange a meeting 
with us as soon as possible. 

Yours sincerely, 


Rushanara Ali MP (Bethnal Green and Bow) 

Rt. Hon Harriet Harman QC MP (Camberwell 
and Peckham) 

Rt. Hon Liam Byrne MP (Birmingham Hodge 

Rt. Hon Sadiq Khan MP (Tooting) 

Rt. Hon Margaret Hodge MP (Barking) 

Rt. Hon Stephen Timms MP (East Ham) 

Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP (Leicester East) 

Rt. Hon David Lammy MP (Tottenham) 

Rt. Hon John Spellar MP (Warley) 

Rt. Hon Dame Joan Ruddock MP (Lewisham 

Chuka Umunna MP (Streatham) 

Jim Dowd MP (Lewisham West and Penge) 

Lyn Brown MP (West Ham) 

Stella Creasy MP (Walthamstow) 

Liz Kendall MP (Leicester West) 

Jon Ashworth MP (Leicester South) 

Ivan Lewis MP (Bury South) 

Sir Tony Cunningham MP (Workington) 

Chi Onwurah MP (Newcastle-upon-Tyne 

Diane Abbott MP (Hackney North and Stoke 

Seema Malhotra MP (Feltham and Heston) 

Shabana Mahmood MP (Birmingham 

Andy Love MP (Edmonton) 

Glenda Jackson MP (Hampstead and Kilburn) 

Kate Hoey MP (Vauxhall) 

Meg Hillier MP (Hackney South and 

Steve Reed MP (Croydon North) 

John Cryer MP (Leyton and Wanstead) 

Virendra Sharma MP (Ealing Southall) 

Steve Pound MP (Ealing North) 

Kevin Brennan MP (Cardiff West) 

Kelvin Hopkins MP (Luton North) 

Simon Danczuk MP (Rochdale) 

Gareth Thomas MP (Harrow West) 

Jonathan Reyonlds MP (Stalybridge and Hyde) 

Jim Fitzpatrick MP (Poplar and Limehouse) 

Jon Cruddas MP (Dagenham and Rainham) 

Mike Gapes MP (Ilford South) 

Jeremy Corbyn MP (Islington North) 

Yasmin Qureshi MP (Bolton South East) 

Sir Gerald Kaufman MP (Manchester Gorton) 

Barry Gardiner MP (Brent North) 

Andy Slaughter MP (Hammersmith) 

Mark Lazarowicz MP (Edinburgh North and 

Karen Buck MP (Westminster North) 

Anas Sarwar MP (Glasgow Central) 

Stephen Doughty MP (Cardiff South and Penarth)



cc: Mr Andy Reid, Head of Non-Bank Financial Institutions, Barclays Bank, Level 11, 1 Churchill Place, 
London E14 5HP 

cc: Rt. Hon. George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, HM Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road, 
London, SW1A 2HQ 

cc: Sajid Javid MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, HM Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road, London, 

cc: Rt. Hon. Justine Greening MP, Secretary of State for International Development, Department for 
International Development, 22 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2EG 

cc: Rt. Hon. Alan Duncan MP, Minister of State for International Development, Department for 
International Development, 22 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2EG 

cc: Lynne Featherstone, Minister of State for International Development, Department for 
International Development, 22 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2EG 

cc: Rt. Hon Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Department for 
Business, Innovation and Skills, 1 Victoria St London, Greater London SW1H 0ET