Big banks in the United Kingdom have shut down nearly a million accounts over the past four years, a paper revealed amid the ongoing scandal of Brexit leader Nigel Farage being debanked for his political opinions.
A report from the Mail on Sunday revealed that banks are on pace to set a record number of closures this year, with 200,000 accounts having already been closed since the start of the year, This puts the banks on pace to top the number seen last year, which stood at 343,350, a Freedom of Information request to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed.
In total, nearly one million accounts have been closed over the past four years, alone. However, the paper noted that this figure may be underestimating the true scale of account closures, given that it only reflects accounts closed over concerns of financial crimes, and therefore would not include cases like that of Nigel Farage, who had his Coutts account shut because the bankers determined that he did “not align” with the bank’s values.
In response to the Farage revelations, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government is preparing legislation to be introduced in the autumn that would mandate that banks give at least a 90-day warning to customers before their accounts are closed and provide a reason for the decision, except for instances when doing so would hinder a police investigation.
However, others have called on the government to go further, with the founder of the campaign group Fairer Finance telling the MoS: “I think the legislation should go further and limit banks to closing accounts only when there is clear evidence of criminal activity.”
There have also been suggestions that the government may require banks to pledge to protect the principle of freedom of expression or face having their licence to lend in Britain revoked.
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 5, 2023
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Mr Farage also revealed that the banking group at the heart of his debanking scandal, NatWest, is preparing to introduce new restrictions on customer’s ability to use cash.
“From September the 11th, NatWest will be limiting cash that you can deposit and cash that you can take out and they keep the absolute right to refuse cash. They even keep the right to refuse checks, basically, they want everything to be electronic,” he revealed on his YouTube channel on Sunday evening.
The attack on the ability to use cash is not only happening in the UK. In Australia, for example, banks such as ANZ and NAB recently announced that they would be banning cash withdrawals over the counter at some of their branches and that customers would need to specifically contact tellers ahead of time to schedule a physical withdrawal.
Speaking to Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM radio last week, Mr Farage warned that with the rise of a cashless society, the West is at risk of having something akin to the Chinese social credit score being instituted through the banking system.
“What we do know is the British clearing banks are now working with some of the credit agencies to put in place word checks on the social media accounts of their customers. You can see the direction… we are literally on the verge of this happening. So we really have to start shouting,” Mr Farage said.