Banks accused of closing accounts belonging to British Muslims

British Muslims are having their bank accounts closed “without adequate transparency and recourse”, representatives have claimed.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said individuals and organisations in the community were being “disproportionately affected by this issue”, leaving the group with “deep concerns”.

The body has written to senior politicians – including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey – to call for banking rights to be protected.

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The MCB said it used the correspondence to highlight “the recurring issue of banks withdrawing services from British Muslims over the past decade without adequate transparency and recourse for those affected”.

They added: “This practice has persisted without any meaningful action from successive governments.”

The group called for a comprehensive review of banking practices, “scrutinising internal decisions leading to account closures and denial of services”.

Secretary general of the MCB, Zara Mohammed, said: “We urge for an impartial review that not only addresses the mechanisms behind bank account closures but also examines why British Muslims are disproportionately affected by this issue.

“Our affiliates are ready to share their experiences and recommendations to ensure fair treatment for all.

“We call for the protection of universal banking rights, irrespective of religious or cultural backgrounds and political views, ensuring equitable access to financial services for all.”

Zara Mohammed who has been elected the first female secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain. Pic: MCB

Image: Zara Mohammed is the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain. Pic: MCB

The problem of “de-banking” came to the fore in recent weeks after former UKIP leader Nigel Farage had his account closed by Coutts, with the now-TV presenter claiming it was over his political views.

His campaign saw the chief executives of the bank and the wider NatWest group resign – and has led to an independent review of its processes.

On Monday, Mr Farage revealed Coutts had offered to reinstate his personal and business accounts, and that he was seeking compensation after the row played out publicly.

We have contacted the government and opposition parties for a response.

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