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Money Transfers

For decades, money transfers from Mexican immigrants living in the United States have flowed to relatives south of the border typically at high cost and with little involvement from the Mexican government. But the role of the migrant is being dramatically altered as President Vicente Fox moves to capitalize on the close links between Mexicans on both sides of the border.
May 9, 1997
The U.S. Postal Service and its Mexican partner, Bancomer, began offering wire cash transfer services from 200 post offices in Southern California. The service, called Dinero Seguro, or Safe Money, has been operating in Texas, charging $15 for a wire transfer of up to $250, or a maximum 6% commission. Mexicans working in the U.S. send home $6 billion annually in what is estimated to be Mexico's third-biggest source of foreign currency after oil and tourism.
February 14, 2007 | Marla Dickerson, Times Staff Writer
Mexicans who work in the United States and send money south of the border are moving into the financial mainstream, according to a new survey. Fully 70% of migrants interviewed by Mexico's central bank said they had a U.S. bank account. The findings also suggest that U.S. financial institutions are playing an increasing role in the money transfers. People with bank accounts often are able to send money at a cheaper rate than if they wired the money through other means.
November 25, 2003 | From Bloomberg News
The Federal Reserve next month will lower the cost to U.S. banks of sending funds to Mexico, making it easier for the institutions to handle more of the billions of dollars that immigrants send home to relatives each year. The changes will let U.S. banks move money across the border through the Fed's system of clearing batches of electronic payments at about the same cost as transfers within the U.S. Banks without subsidiaries in Mexico will benefit most.
January 27, 2005 | E. Scott Reckard, Times Staff Writer
Escalating the battle for Latino market share, Bank of America Corp. plans to eliminate all fees to transfer money to Mexico, starting today in Chicago and in the rest of the U.S. by the end of this year. Not surprisingly, there's a catch: Bank of America said it would require new customers of its transfer program to open a checking account. For many customers, it will be their first.
February 12, 2010 | By Nicholas Riccardi
Western Union will pay $94 million to settle a long-running legal battle with the state of Arizona over whether the company allowed its money transfers to be used to send proceeds from human trafficking and drug smuggling to Mexico, officials announced Thursday. The settlement includes $50 million that will help law enforcement operations in border states fight money laundering. Western Union has also agreed to beef up its internal procedures to stop its wire transfers from being exploited.
February 3, 2012 | By Matea Gold, Washington Bureau
President Obama's first campaign ad of 2012 decried "secretive billionaires attacking" him through conservative nonprofit groups that do not reveal their contributors. But two Democratic nonprofit groups that do not disclose their donors made payments last year to their affiliated "super PACs," a tactic that can be used to undermine transparency. Priorities USA Action, a group started by two former Obama White House aides, accepted $215,000 from its tax-exempt arm, Priorities USA, for "operating expenses," according to campaign finance reports filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission.
April 20, 2008 | Ken Ellingwood, Times Staff Writer
The U.S. economic downturn and tightened border controls have begun to alter the rhythms of undocumented migrants who used to move back and forth with regularity, which has crimped the flow of money sent home to Mexico, one of the nation's main sources of foreign income. The developments have produced worry and deep uncertainty in towns such as Tejaro, a farming community of 4,200 where pickup trucks bear license plates from Nevada and Minnesota.
December 28, 2002 | E. Scott Reckard and Marla Dickerson, Times Staff Writers
When Bank of America Corp. announced a couple of weeks ago that it was expanding more aggressively into the business of helping Mexican immigrants send money back to their homeland, you might have thought that a money-transfer company such as Sigue Corp. would become alarmed. As Sigue Vice President Manuel Diaz sees it, though, it's the big bank that should worry.
Drenched by downpours, Guillermo de la Vina wandered the agricultural outposts of Oregon and Washington in a thin raincoat and polished shoes, courting immigrant owners of small markets and stores. The businesses were rundown, planted in the mud of one-street towns. But De la Vina knew they could be gatekeepers for billions of dollars that Mexican migrant workers send home yearly.
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