Some Minn. Somalis close Wells Fargo bank accounts

January 13, 2012 - 8:30 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Some Somalis in Minnesota have closed their bank accounts, saying Wells Fargo has been unwilling to work with the community in facilitating wire transfers to Somalia.

About 100 Somalis rallied Friday at a Wells Fargo branch in Minneapolis' midtown neighborhood. Some then closed their accounts.

Last month, more than a dozen Somali money transfer businesses stopped sending money to Somalia because another bank that had been making the transfers stopped doing it, fearing it might inadvertently violate anti-terror regulations.

Wells Fargo stopped working with hawalas years ago, but protesters say the bank has an opportunity to be a leader and begin helping again.

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman tells WCCO radio the bank hates to see customers leave, and a leadership team will meet with Somali community members next week.