Western countries have received more than $1.5 trillion in remittances since 2007, according to analysis from money transfer firm Xpress Money.

Over the past ten years, France ($229 billion), Germany ($149 billion), Belgium ($106 billion), Spain ($99 billion), the US ($62 billion) and the UK ($50 billion) have all received “a substantial economic boost”. Europe also receives one in every four dollars sent in remittances.

Sudhesh Giriyan, COO of Xpress Money, believes that these findings go some way towards dispelling the “myth” that remittances are only boosting the economies of developing nations.

“There are many examples where money needs to be transferred into the West, by people such as business travellers, those coming to shop and going to other parts of the world for job opportunities,” he said. “Places like the UK and France are also known to attract people all over the world to their famous education institutions, with those studying relying on their family sending money to pay for things like rent.”

Developing nations still receive a majority of the world’s remittances, however.  India, the biggest beneficiary, has received $625bn over the last 10 years. This is significantly larger than Mexico ($250 billion) and Nigeria ($202 billion), the top receiving countries in Latin America and Africa respectively.

“Despite a significant volume of remittances going to the West, it’s crucial to remember its importance to developing countries and the impact that high rates can have on a family’s ability to just get by,” added Giriyan. “Whilst there have been significant steps made to drive down the cost of remittances, the G8’s target of delivering fairer remittances for all hasn’t met the desired success. In fact, we are still 2% away from its goal to reduce costs by 5% – three years after the deadline.

“What’s more, with the UN calling for the cost of remittances to be as low as 3%, it’s clear that governments, industry leaders and business must come together to solve the problem and achieve this sooner, rather than later.”

by Alex Hamilton
Alex is Senior Reporter at IBS Intelligence, follow him on Twitter or contact him at: alexanderh@ibsintelligence.com