Foreign Banking Institutions Suspend Money Transfers to Banks in Yemen

Sheba Intelligence | 2024-06-02 11:14 AM UTC


Banking institutions outside Yemen have begun suspending money transfers to six banks in Yemen in response to the latest procedures the internationally recognized government adopted to monitor and control the banking sector in the country.

An official in the Central Bank of Yemen in Aden said the Al Rajhi Bank in Saudi Arabia stopped its transactions with six Yemeni commercial banks, and these banks are  Al-Tadhamon Bank, Yemen-Kuwait Bank, Shamil Bank of Kuwait and Bahrain, Al-Amal Microfinance, Al-Kuraimi Islamic Microfinance, and International Bank of Yemen.

 According to the source, Al Rajhi Bank asked its agents in Yemen to bring a no-objection certificate from the Central Bank of Yemen in Aden.

Late last week, the Governor of the Central Bank in Aden issued a decree prohibiting transactions with the six banks in Houthi-controlled Sanaa. He said he took this action after the six banks failed to relocate their headquarters from Sanaa to Aden.

MoneyGram, a company specializing in money transfer, announced its commitment to the decision of the Central Bank of Yemen in Aden regarding the prohibition of practicing foreign transfer activity except through banks and exchange companies approved by the authorities in Aden.

The company informed its branches and agents in Yemen that they need to obtain a no-objection certificate from the Central Bank of Yemen in Aden no later than June 4, 2024.

MoneyGram is an international company headquartered in the United States of America, with regional offices worldwide.

While some experts say banning transactions with the banks in the Houthi-controlled Sanaa will weaken the Houthi economic power, others warn that such a move will bring more ordeals to civilians in Yemen and heighten their suffering.

Today, civilians in North Yemen fear that they will not be able to receive money from their relatives who work overseas. Sanaa resident Riyadh Abdu, 20, told Sheba Intelligence that his family depends on money his father sends from Saudi Arabia.

Abdu said, "Every month, we visit any branch of Al-Kuraimi Bank and receive the transfer without any hurdles. It is worrying that even money transfer will not be easy for us."

Nasser Mohammed, a 45-year-old Sanaa resident, said blocking money transfers from Saudi Arabia or other countries will deepen the economic plight of people in North Yemen.

Mohammed said, "My son works in Saudi Arabia, and I rely on his financial support to make ends meet. My life will be tough without such support. I hope the parties to the conflict will find a way to rescue us from the consequences of the conflicting banking policies."

The military conflict in Yemen has entered its 10th year, and the economic war has been devastating for Yemen's civilians, driving millions to the brink of famine.