The U.S.-Guatemala Remittance Corridor

The U.S.-Guatemala Remittance Corridor


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This study gives an overview of the intermediation of worker remittance flows from the United States to Guatemala. In contrast to other remittance corridors in the world, most transfers in this corridor are channeled in the United States through the formal sector, and distributed in Guatemala through the banking system. However, both senders and receivers have little access to financial products and services. This study argues that in a country characterized by high income inequality and low and concentrated access to credit, the large role played by domestic banks in distributing remittances seems promising in terms of creating a point of contact that could lead to cross-sales of other financial services. The report also argues that authorities have an important coordination and catalytic role to play, for increased efficiency in remittance intermediation, fostering competition, and ultimately highlighting the potential for greater access. The report concludes with specific avenues for further policy action in terms of transparency, regulatory environment, financial literacy and access, risk management, and money laundering prevention.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780821367827
Publisher: World Bank Publications
Publication date: 11/30/2006
Series: World Bank Working Papers , #86
Pages: 86
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.30(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
Abbreviations and Acronyms     ix
Executive Summary     xi
Introduction     1
Context     1
Organization of the Study     4
At the First Mile     5
Snapshot     5
Profile of Remittance Senders     6
Features of the Remittance Industry     8
Impact of the Regulatory Framework at the First Mile     12
Key Findings and Avenues for Further Action     17
At the Intermediary Stage     19
Generic Remittance Intermediation Model     20
Current Status of Remittance Intermediation Infrastructure in the U.S.-Guatemala Corridor     21
Key Findings and Avenues for Further Action     28
At the Last Mile     33
Characteristics of Recipients and the Impact of Remittances     34
Remittance Distribution Industry and Potential for Increased Access to Financial Services     39
Last Mile Regulatory and Institutional Framework     46
Key Findings and Avenues for Further Action     49
Relative Importance of Remittances at Macroeconomic Level in Guatemala vs. Selected Latin American Countries     51
Addenda on Relevant Legal and Regulatory Framework     55
Full Text of Relevant Sections of Laws and Regulations Mentioned in Document     59
Bibliography     65
Map of Remittance Flows in the U.S.-Guatemala Corridor     71

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