Certain countries and territories have yet to develop stable and consistent internal banking processes. This can make it difficult to confidently send and receive money from these countries. In particular clients face problems 'getting their money out' of countries that do not have as sophisticated a payment services frame work as somewhere like the UK...although, having said that we recently encountered a customer struggling to get their money out of rural France (but that may be for another post).
Whilst the banking system in some countries might not be sophisticated, many emerging and developing economies will likely have an established (although perhaps fledgling) remittance and non-bank payments industry.
If a lot of your nationals work abroad, it stands to reason that you might allow companies that enable those nationals to 'send money home' a presence on your high street.
We were recently presented with an interesting scenario.
A private client was certain that her bank would not act swiftly or consistently when asked to transmit money from her country of residence to the UK.
However, she had used a remittance/foreign exchange business on a number of occasions.
This remittance business did not provide competitive rates of exchange. The client was aware of this, but, more important to her was the ability to get her money out of the country she lives and works in...so, she was prepared to sacrifice rate competition in favour of a solid and dependable process.
We established that this remittance business was perfectly capable of sending a foreign currency payment to our segregated client account for this client.
Therefore, the client has a way of extracting capital from her homeland, and we represented a mechanism whereby she could then access a far more favourable rate of exchange.
From a security point of view it was important that we understood the relationship between our client and the business sending the money to us. It was not lost on us that the business she was using was not a bank, however, assessing the merits of the transaction as it was put to us, we were able to request sufficient information to satisfy even our stringent Know You Client and due diligence requirements.
In the fullness of time this client may be able to use her bank to send her currency to us, but, at present she just doesn't feel confident they will execute her instructions in a timely manner...
The 'system' has evolved to such an extent that she can make use of the various companies out there to ensure she has both timely execution and competitive rates of conversion.
You might be in the same position, or, you might be faced with other obstacles and issues. There are few things our brokers have not dealt with, so, give us a ring and we can see whether what you're doing is the best way of going about your exchanges.