Mexico: migrants in US to open accounts at consulates

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico will set up a system allowing migrants living in the United States to open accounts with its Bank of Welfare so they can more easily and cheaply send money back to their families, officials said Monday.

The bank is Mexico’s main distributor of money for the federal government’s social welfare programs. Migrants living in the U.S. would be able to open accounts through Mexico’s consulates.

Mexico’s finance ministry said in a statement that the goal is to expand financial services to that sector of the population and do so “on the best terms and conditions, so that sending remittances to the country happen in a simple, safe and economic way.”

Remittances amount to more than Mexico earns from oil exports or tourism and are second only to manufacturing exports. In 2020, despite the pandemic, Mexicans in the U.S. set a new record, sending $40.6 billion back to Mexico.

The Bank of Welfare would buy dollars from migrants and their families who hold accounts. Relatives in Mexico would be able to access the money though more than 2,300 points in Mexico between the bank’s branches and other outlets and receive a better exchange rate than the currency exchange houses.

Mexico’s central bank, Banxico, will develop a system to verify the identities of account holders.

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