Banks could be stripped of licences if they discriminate over political views

Nigel Farage accuses Coutts of lying over bank closure

Banks could be stripped of their licence if they are found to be discriminating against customers based on their political views.

Plans being drawn up by the Government will look at adding free speech protections to banking licences.

Andrew Griffith, economic secretary to the Treasury, has asked civil servants to look at drafting the new legislation, Whitehall sources told the Telegraph.

The protections would see banks that discriminate against a customer because of their political beliefs be stripped of their banking licenses.

Meanwhile, payment service providers will be told as soon as tomorrow that they must not discriminate against customers on the basis of belief, sources told the Telegraph.

This comes after Nigel Farage had his account with Coutts closed earlier this year.

Yesterday, he exposed a 40-page memo from the bank, with information relating to the account closure.

The bombshell, which he described as being “truly astonishing” occurred after Mr Farage filed a subject access request to Coutts – a legal mechanism used to gain access to all the information an organisation holds about an individual.

Mr Farage claimed that Brexit was mentioned 86 times in the internal memo, as well as the fact that he supports Donald Trump, which is mentioned numerous times.

The word “racist” is used nine times in the memo.

Mr Farage claimed he attempted to open accounts with seven other banking groups, but was refused.

Sources close to Coutts told the BBC that the former MEP fell below the wealth threshold. They claimed he was subsequently offered a standard account at Natwest, which owns Coutts.

People familiar with Coutts said it was a “commercial” decision.

They added: “The criteria for holding a Coutts account are clear from the bank’s website.”

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Coutts requires its customers to borrow or invest at least £1million with the bank or hold £3million in savings.

But according to Mr Farage, the memo admits that his “financial position is now sufficient to retain on a commercial basis”.

The TV personality claimed that the decision was made by the ‘Wealth Reputational Risk Committee’.

In a video posted to Twitter, Mr Farage said he is “pretty blooming angry” about the revelations contained within the memo.

Coutts said that Mr Farage has demonstrated “commentary and behaviours that do not align with the bank’s purpose”, later adding that he is “seen as xenophobic and racist”.

Source: Read Full Article