The tide appears to be turning on Britain’s banking culture with government action after Brexit leader Nigel Farage’s revelation that he was being debanked, with examples from anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller to a once-notorious London mosque also revealing they were experiencing debanking.
Nigel Farage responded to the revelation that debanking scandal-hit NatWest saw its profits surge 23 per cent to £2.3 billion this year so far, saying the industry was making a lot of money while failing in its duty to ordinary people. He wrote: “The NatWest profits are no great surprise. Interest payments have risen sharply yet deposits have lagged. The whole sector is making massive profits whilst treating the public badly.”
BBC Apologises to Nigel Farage for ‘Inaccurate’ Reporting on Debankinghttps://t.co/QCM3Fw4dp0
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 25, 2023
Mr Farage’s view was buttressed by Conservative Member of Parliament Harriett Baldwin, who is the Treasury Select Committee chairman, who said banks’ returns were being boosted by being slow to pass higher interest rates onto savers, while making money out of borrowers, the Daily Telegraph reports. She said:
If the high street banks continue to pay poor savings rates on their instant access accounts, they should make sure their customers know that better rates are available.
They don’t seem to have any trouble passing on higher rates to their existing borrowers.
Given that the Government, regulator and Governor of the Bank of England agree with the Committee that action is required, the time for foot-dragging and weak excuses is over.
Meanwhile, more and more people are coming forward to reveal they, too, have been denied banking or had accounts withdrawn. Following earlier revelations from a parents’ group expressing concern over the transgender agenda, thousands of cash customers, and even the Chancellor of the Exchequer (UK finance minister), now high-profile anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller says she has been targeted.
Bank Execs ‘Read Riot Act’ as UK Govt Looks Outlaw Political Debanking in Farage Fallout https://t.co/rpBXPPa5XB
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 27, 2023
Miller says the bank account of her political party ‘True and Fair’ with bank Monzo was being closed. The BBC reports Monzo claim it was a mistake to have allowed the account to be opened in the first place because they do not permit political parties to bank with them.
The once-notorious Finsbury Park Mosque, which was historically associated with radical preacher Abu Hamza but it regarded now as having turned itself around, have also spoken out on debanking today, but to complain it is hypocritical for the media to give attention to Nigel Farage’s campaign to change the banking culture when their own was ignored. Chairman of the mosque Mohammed Kozbar said of the organisation losing its bank accounts with HSBC nearly a decade ago, reports the Guardian:
No one – he, her, or an organisation – should have their bank accounts closed for no reason. It shouldn’t happen because of political views or religious views. That’s what happened to us, but no one cared at the time… We have seen the double standard now.
When Nigel Farage had an issue, people jumped on it and it became a national issue with the prime minister speaking on it, which is how it should be. But, we are disappointed because when it comes to organisations like us, no one cares.
As some analyses point out, the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis left banks with many more rules to follow, and their compliance compartments being extremely fastidious in applying them for fear of retribution from the government should they fall foul. Compliance can be expensive, and in some cases, banks appear to have decided that it is simply cheaper to not have some customers on the books.
A result of this, it is claimed, is huge amounts of people being swept up in rules meant to tackle criminals and money launderers while in reality, their crime is nothing more than operating cash-in-hand businesses.
Debanking: No Return to Politics, But a Crusade Against Cashless Society, Says Farage https://t.co/GtvUzGUply
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 27, 2023
Debanking is more nakedly political in other cases, for instance with Mr Farage, where NatWest’s own internal documents proved his accounts were being revoked because the people who ran the bank simply did not approve of his opinions.
Indeed, while Farage’s campaigning in the past month has seen some serious results, including the government working on new legislation and “reading the riot act” to bank bosses, as well as the resignation of two top banking executives, he is still in fact remains functionally debanked. Sir Howard Davies, the beleaguered chairman of the NatWest Group board of directors refused to comment on whether even with everything that has happened, Mr Farage would get his old accounts back.
Sir Howard said:
It isn’t appropriate for me to talk about the status of his accounts, whether at Coutts or at NatWest. I really should not and will not do that.
But as you say, it has been widely reported that he has been offered alternative banking arrangements.
The offer is reported to be for a personal bank account only, meaning Mr Farage’s personal and business accounts closed by Coutts have still yet to be replaced, including by the reportedly ten other UK banks he has approached for the facility, all of which he says have turned him down.
Nigel Farage Debanked over Ties to Donald Trump and for Expressing Conservative Views, Bank Docs Show https://t.co/uSdvkT1uUV
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 19, 2023