Banks Are Hurting Our Democracy

Dear Friends and Supporters

I am sure you are aware of the debanking issues Mr Farage has faced for his personal bank account at Coutts / Natwest. Irrespective of anyone’s political views, if the source of their funds is not fraudulent, criminal or money laundering everyone should have access to banking services in the modern age we live in.

You may have also read that when Gina Miller and our Treasurer Ian Morley were setting up the Party, applications for a party business account were rejected by most high street / well-known banks. The party eventually secured an account at Monzo Bank in November 2021. On 13 July, Mrs Miller received a message on the Monzo App that the account would be closed on 13 July, message below

It was only when Monzo was approached by a BBC journalist did they say that the closure was due to us being a political party and that they had allowed the opening of the bank account in error.

As a party, cleaning up politics and fighting corruption are core policies, and all banks and financial services institutions have an important duty to guard against corruption, bribery and dark money entering our political system. But when politically exposed persons rules (PEP rules) are being overzealously used to deny access to bank accounts and other financial services products, we no longer have a functioning democracy. 

But it goes even deeper than that, should one of our nine parliamentary candidates win a seat in the upcoming general election, they would become PEPs and banks could not only de-bank their personal and business accounts but also those of their partners and children. This is a far bigger issue than Mr Farage’s experience. This is denying individuals from exercising their civic duty and responsibility under threat of having all their banking, credit and access to other financial services constrained.

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We believe the new PEP rules that came into force under The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations in 2017 are being exercised in an overzealous manner as institutions see the extra due diligence as costly and are applying blanket bans. This is a sinister trend and is hugely damaging to our democracy, not least at a time when voters are disillusioned with existing mainstream status quo parties and are looking for new thinking, new proposals and policies, and new hope.  

We have now secured a bank account at another small bank but as the existing rules mean that we could get a two-month notice, without explanation again, Gina Miller will be writing to the FCA and Treasury detailing our concerns. Prime Minister Sunak’s proposals for banks to give people a three-month notice period is of no use if the banking sector is putting profit before purpose and blanket denying PEPs, small businesses, and other individuals they deem require more due diligence/higher risk access to their services. We will share her letter and their responses in due course.

To add weight to our call, please sign this petition to put pressure on the FCA and government.

Launching a new party in our unfair FPTP voting system, without proportional representation, an extremely biased media and big funders brown nosing to the main parties in the hope they gain favour when those parties are in power, are all challenges we knowingly face. But not having access to a bank account would mean we could not function. 

We need your voices and support to help us to help you.

True & Fair