Guest workers make lots of money orders, SKB-Bank says

18 June 2008 (09:09)

The Bank of Russia came up with some data on the international money orders made by private individuals in the first quarter of 2008.

Over 190 billion RUR worth of international money orders have been made in Russia since the beginning of the year. Most money orders destined for the countries of the far abroad go to Switzerland, China, and the United States. Over 21 billion RUR, for instance, were directed to Switzerland and over 10 billion RUR were sent to the U.S. At the same time, a lot of international money orders go to the countries of the near abroad. The lion’s share of those (10 billion RUR in the first quarter of 2008) is directed to Ukraine; Uzbekistan and Tajikistan received 9 billion RUR worth of money orders from Russia each in January-March 2008.

Lyudmila Belyaeva, SKB-Bank’s Commission-Based Services Director, says most money orders are normally made by guest workers:

‘Chinese citizens and people from the Central Asian countries send home the money they make in Russia. Most often, they will use Western Union or Contact for this.’

As for the money orders where the money is sent to rather than from Russia, these are made on a much more modest scale. Some 56 billion RUR worth of money orders have been directed to Russia since the beginning of the year; most of these come from Russian citizens’ relatives living in, say, the U.S. or Germany. As for the countries of the CIS, the better part of money (over three billion RUR in January-March 2008) comes to Russia from Kazakhstan, since plenty of Kazakh citizens study at Russian colleges and universities and get some financial support from their parents.

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