Posted by Sam Fenny - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 7 June 2024

Tories Fail to Bring in Debanking Rules Before Election (but of course)

Back in March, the Government announced new rules to put an end to ‘debanking’ for political reasons. But it seems the Conservatives never got round to actually bringing them into force – and now the election has killed them off. Toby highlights the issue in his latest Spectator column:

On Saturday morning, when I was helping Caroline prepare for a lunch party, I got an urgent request for help from the leader of a populist, Right-wing campaigning group. His organisation had just been debanked. He had five days before the account was closed, during which time the bank would return the money it had received in membership dues to the members and keep anything left over, effectively bankrupting the company. No reason was given, other than that it had breached the bank’s ‘community standards’.

“That can’t be right,” I told him. “Back in March, the Government announced it was changing the rules to make it harder for banks to shut down accounts for political reasons. If the bank wants rid of you, it now has to give you 90 days’ notice and set out in detail why it’s closing your account. Disapproving of your political beliefs isn’t a permitted reason.”

He sounded relieved, as well he might, and went off to compose a robust email to the bank’s CEO. Then I had a worrying thought. What if the Government had never actually got round to changing the rules before Parliament was dissolved last week? In March, the Treasury published a policy note in which it set out the draft statutory instrument (SI) that would amend the Payment Service Regulations 2017 to better protect customers from being debanked. All the Government needed to do was lay this instrument before Parliament and the changes would take effect.

But had it? I WhatsApped a former Treasury minister and he thought it must have been because it was ready to go when he was reshuffled last year. But after some frantic Googling, I drew the inescapable conclusion: these promised changes had been torpedoed by the snap election.

Disappointed that one of the FSU’s campaigning successes has had defeat snatched from the jaws of victory, Toby has launched a new petition to keep the pressure on all the parties as we head into the election.

There was some good news though: after sending a robust email to the bank CEO, Toby’s friend heard that his account had been restored and it was just a “dreadful mistake”…

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