Sunrise Community Banks has been and remains open to facilitating money transfers to Somalia. Three years ago Sunrise Community Banks responded to a call for help from the Somali community. The hawala accounts were being closed at banking institutions across the Twin Cities. We willingly created a unique and transparent program for sending remittances to the Horn of Africa. We also opened a bank branch in the heart of the Somali community at the Karmel Mall, raised funds for famine relief efforts and we have begun work on a loan product that fits the community’s needs. Our commitment to the Somali community has not wavered.
We have reached out to multiple government agencies and officials, have made a specific proposal, and have told the agencies that we are seeking a constructive exchange with them in an effort to reach an accommodation that would satisfy the concerns of those sending funds, the government and the bank. The laws and regulations associated with this service are complex and carry strict penalties for non-compliance, but as Sunrise has told the federal government, the bank is convinced that a solution is within reach.
Members of the Twin Cities Somali diaspora are our customers, neighbors, friends and colleagues. The humanitarian consequences of this decision weigh heavily on us. That is why we continue to work with determination and hope to discover a solution. We have not given up, but we cannot do it alone. We stand ready to facilitate a solution undertaken by the bank, the community, and the government.