Global Briefing: May 20, 2002

Banking for Illegals

Undocumented Mexican workers in the U.S., who often pay as much as 25% in surcharges to wire money to family and friends across the border, now have a less expensive option. At Wells Fargo, Bank of America and other institutions in the Western U.S., Mexicans no longer need proof of legal residency to open an account but can instead present an identification card issued by the Mexican consulate. This month B. of A. launched a money-transfer system called SafeSend, in which customers can use a phone or the Internet to transfer money into an escrow account. The recipient...

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