Members of Toronto ACORN will be rallying at 241 Yonge Street in front of the Money Mart, to protest the high cost of remittance fees charged through Western Union.
"We often have no other choice," says Toronto ACORN member Ahmed Makhlouf. "Western Union is more convenient and faster than banks, especially when it is an urgent situation." Makhlouf believes the transfer fees charged are too high. "It's big money, a big fight."
These fees, running between 10%-20% in some cases, prey on the already vulnerable populations of low income families, new Canadians and those simply supporting loved ones living abroad.
Toronto ACORN is calling on Western Union to lower the fees - and for the Provincial Government to step in and regulate this industry. We see charges and fees on top of the World Bank's 5% fee recommendation as predatory, and as a result, are holding the provincial government accountable for this gouging of Ontario families and families in the developing world.
Quick Facts on Remittances
-The difference between what is paid in fees currently in Canada, and the amount that would be paid under the World Banks suggested fee structure is nearly $500 million per year.
-The World Bank estimates that more than $400 Billion (USD) is remitted annually, with 75% of this amount going from developed to developing countries.
-The World Bank estimates that the fees associated with this are $44.4 billion globally.
WHAT: Media event calling on Provincial Governments to regulate remittances fees at or below the the World Bank's recommended amount of 5% of money transferred.
WHEN: Thursday November 10th, 1:00PM
WHERE: Money Mart (Western Union) at 241 Yonge St, north of Queen St.
Press Contact: Tatiana Jaunzems, Community Organizer