By Benjamin Bain and Alan Katz / Bloomberg
Mexico’s government is taking an unusual step to weather a U.S. money-laundering crackdown that threatens to hobble dollar-fueled businesses from Tijuana beauty salons to Cancun hotels: It’s getting into the dollar-transfer business.
The country’s central bank will soon unveil an electronic system designed to ease U.S. dollar transfers between Mexican businesses, said Banco de Mexico spokesman Ricardo Medina.
The network will let businesses send U.S. currency to each other through a clearinghouse overseen by the central bank and moving through a bank in the U.S., according to a central bank official familiar with the program, who said the system could be introduced as soon as next month.
The move addresses a growing problem in Mexico: Several foreign banks have cut ties with Mexican counterparts in recent years. Bankers and officials in Mexico fear further barriers to financial flows between their country, Latin America’s second-largest economy, and the U.S., its biggest trading partner.