'No evidence' customers debanked over political views, says City watchdog

19 September 2023, 15:21

Cases of 'debanking' have been linked to abuse of bank staff
Cases of 'debanking' have been linked to abuse of bank staff. Picture: Alamy
Jasmine Moody

By Jasmine Moody

There is 'no evidence' of customers being debanked due to their political views despite hundreds of thousands of account closures in recent years, The City watchdog has found.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said information given by 34 banks, building societies, and payment companies suggests that no accounts were "primarily closed" due to customers' political beliefs from July 2022 to June 2023.

The investigation looked at several cases where political views or other opinions were cited as a cause for closing an account.

However, its findings report that political beliefs were not the main reason.

The issues that did close these accounts included customer behaviour and "racist language directed towards staff", according to the report.

The FCA acknowledged findings had been "gathered from firms at speed" but they would conduct "further work" to verify data.

The FCA reported that 343,000 bank accounts were closed from 2021 to 2022, compared to around 45,000 in 2017.

There had been accusations of British Muslims and the British Nigerian community being 'debanked' disproportionately.

While the investigation looked at an array of cases, the City watchdog admitted they did not examine Nigel Farage’s case at Coutts Bank.

The law states that every person in the UK has a legal right to have a basic bank account.
The law states that every person in the UK has a legal right to have a basic bank account. Picture: Alamy

In July, Mr. Farage saw a report from the bank, indicating that his political beliefs were one of the reasons why his account was closed.

NatWest is currently carrying out its own review into the former Tory politician’s account closure.

In response to the investigation, Mr Farage posted a series of tweets, one of which condemned the FCA as "a deeply political institution" that is "part of the problem."

The law states that every person in the UK has a legal right to have a basic bank account, which gives them the ability to make and receive payments.

It details: "[Banks] must not discriminate against consumers legally resident in the United Kingdom by reason of their nationality or place of residence or by reason of sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Rishi Sunak has announced an extra £25 million in funding to stop the boats.

Sunak announces £25m extra funding to tackle people smuggling gangs ahead of migration talks with Austrian Chancellor

A woman in her 50s was mauled to death in her own home in east London.

Woman mauled to death in XL Bully attack at east London home as police seize two dogs

Turkey Erdogan Eurovision

Turkey’s leader claims Eurovision Song Contest is a threat to family values

Labour's Diana Johnson has told LBC the department of health was 'defending itself' during the infected blood scandal.

‘The department of health was institutionally defending itself’, Labour MP tells LBC after infected blood scandal report

Iran Ebrahim Raisi

Iran’s president and foreign minister die in helicopter crash

Exclusive
Julian Assange's wife calls for extradition case against WikiLeaks founder to be abandoned by US after High Court win

Julian Assange's wife calls for extradition case against WikiLeaks founder to be abandoned by US after High Court win

France Cannes 2024 The Apprentice Red Carpet

The Apprentice, about a young Donald Trump, premieres in Cannes

A 'heat dome' is forecast to hit over the half-term.

UK to enjoy 800-mile ‘heat dome’ with temperatures of up to 25C in parts of country over half term

King Charles and Queen Camilla in attendance of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

King Charles and Queen Camilla greet crowds at Chelsea Flower Show as they visit garden designed by children

Haiti Airport

Haiti’s main airport reopens nearly three months after violence forced it closed

Israel Palestinians

International Criminal Court seeks arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders

Hardline 'Butcher of Tehran' Ebrahim Raisi's death opens door for escalating Iran-West confrontation

Hardline 'Butcher of Tehran' Ebrahim Raisi's death opens door for escalating Iran-West confrontation

Why everyone in their twenties seems to be running - and why I’m one of them

Why everyone in their twenties seems to be running - and why I’m one of them

Rishi Sunak has apologised for the infected blood scandal.

'This is a day of shame': Rishi Sunak apologises ‘wholeheartedly’ for infected blood scandal after 'chilling' report

Kate Roughley, 37, strapped the Genevieve Meehan face down on to a bean bag

Parents will 'never forgive' nursery worker who killed daughter by strapping her face down and ignoring cries

Children were used as "objects for research" the final report of the Infected Blood Inquiry has found.

The school where dozens died: Only 30 of 122 boys at Treloar College are alive after experiments with infected blood