Today, the UK High Court granted Dahabshil an interim injunction, which means that Barclays Bank has to keep the company’s bank account open until the conclusion of the full trial.
The court case, which is about preserving competition in the market, is expected to go into full trial in 2014. As Barclays is the last bank to facilitate money transfer services to Somalia from the UK, the account closure would have risked closing off a lifeline for millions of Somalis.
In response to the court’s decision, Degan Ali, Adeso’s Executive Director, said:
“We are pleased by the court’s decision, and this is very good news for Somalia, for Somalis living abroad, and for anyone who cares about the country’s future. It’s a shame that legal action had to be sought, but at least this means that for the time being the flow of remittances can continue.
That being said, we should not lose sight of the bigger issue, and we need to continue to work towards finding a long-term solution. The UK government recently announced a range of actions intended to ensure that remittances continue to flow, including the creation of safe corridors for payments to Somalia, and that’s a step in the right direction. Now more than ever there is a need for the government, banks and money transfer operators to sit down at the same table and find a durable solution so that the flows of money can continue in ways that will satisfy all parties. The last thing we want to see in Somalia is a famine or even a deterioration of the humanitarian situation.”