Remittances of Lebanese expatriates increased from USD $7.86B in 2013 to $8.9B in 2014, up 13.2%. The World Bank attributed the increase in remittances in part to those sent to Syrian refugees in Lebanon by their relatives abroad. Although the data for outflows from the country has only been published until June 2014, in 2013 it reached a level very close to 5 Billion USD (same level in 2009, maximum ever recorded).
Turkey, which for years was a large recipient of remittances (5 Billion in 1998) has seen a significant market change with a vibrant sending market that might reach USD $0.5 Billion in 2015 while the inflow that started declining in the year 2000 has dropped to less than USD $1 Billion two years in a row.
Just two weeks after the end of our IMTC USA 2015 Conference in Las Vegas, where we had a great panel on Bank Discontinuance entitled “Financial Access for the Money Transfer Industry – One step forward, two steps back? brilliantly moderated by Connie Fenchel with panelists Deborah Thoren-Peden from Pillsbury Law and Thomas Fleming from TF & Associates, the Republican leaders on the US House Financial Services Committee sent letters to the federal financial regulatory agencies asking to publicly disavow their “past, present, and future involvement in Operation Choke Point or any similar operation”. You can read the OCC letter here: http://bit.ly/1aP00Nu.