19 Dec 2013

Australian banks dishonest about stopping remittances to Pacific - Naidu

7:13 am on 19 December 2013

An academic on Pacific issues says the Australian big four banks are being dishonest about their reasons for stopping remittances to the Pacific.

The banks, National Australian Bank, Westpac, ANZ and Commonwealth Bank, are reviewing the accounts of money transfer organisations that allow people to send small sums to the Pacific, saying those accounts pose a money laundering risk.

But the head of the School of Government, Development and International Affairs at the University of the South Pacific, Vijay Naidu, says the risk of money laundering is not the real reason.

"They can't be serious. The reason given by the banks is disingenuous and dishonest. I think the real reason probably has to do with the amount of money that the banks are able to make through these processes."

Vijay Naidu says if there is rationale behind the banks' concerns, they should consult the money transfer companies before just closing their accounts.