Western Union Denies Liberia Service Interruption

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Monrovia – Western Union says it’s service to Liberia is still available, debunking recent reports that Liberians both at home and abroad have been experiencing difficulties with the service.

Ingrid Sahu, a spokesperson for the company, responding to a FrontPageAfrica inquiry said: “Western Union services continue to be available in Liberia.”

The glitch in sending and receiving money comes in the wake of a recent regulation by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) regarding the split of currency by receivers.

Under the regulation, payments of money transferred or money sent from abroad to a recipient in Liberia will now be made both in Liberian and United States dollars respectively.

Accordingly, recipients of money transfers sent from abroad will be paid 25 percent in Liberian Dollars and 75 percent in United States Dollars.

The Liberian dollars payment will be made at the CBL published selling exchange rate prevailing on the date of the payment of the transfer to the recipient.

The exchange rate shall be conspicuously displayed on the premises of the financial institutions or paying agents of the financial institutions.

The regulation, (No. CBL/RSD/004/2016), will apply to all licensed financial institutions engaged in money transfer services, including Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria and similar services operating in the country.

The regulation, however, will not apply to inbound money transfers credited directly into recipients’ accounts at commercial banks (eg. SWIFT transfers).

The new regulation which has been in effect since December 1, 2016 has not gone well with Liberians with many suggesting that the regulation cheats them out of the actual amounts being sent by relatives at home and abroad.

The World Bank estimates remittances to Liberia in 2011 around  $US360 million, the equivalent of 31% of the country’s GDP.

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