MCB urges review of disproportionate impact on Muslims by bank closures

8/2/2023 11:17 PM

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has written to the Prime Minister expressing 'deep concern' over the 'arbitrary' closure of bank accounts belonging to Muslims.

The MCB joins the chorus of other critics and commentators highlighting the double standards surrounding the uproar over Nigel Farage's bank account closure.

For many years, British Muslim organisations and individuals, including their families, have experienced the same fate without the same level of media outcry or political support.

The MCB wrote to Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, leaders of opposition parties, and the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury.

In the letters, MCB's Secretary General Zara Mohammed urged for the protection of universal banking rights, irrespective of someone's background or political views.

The group said successive governments ignored banks withdrawing services from British Muslims over the past decade without adequate transparency and recourse for those affected.  

The MCB supports the call for a comprehensive review of banking practices and scrutinising internal decisions leading to account closures and denial of services.

"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," said Zara Mohammed, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain.

"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."

Muslims most likely to be unbanked

The MCB's intervention comes after figures from Britain's Financial Conduct Authority showed how Muslims are more likely than any other demographic group to be unbanked.

To further highlight the blind spot around Muslims, a campaigner highlighting the prevalence of 'unbanked' Brits failed to mention the startling stat around Muslims.  

Farage had his Coutts account closed because the bank disagreed with his political views. The documents related to the decision to close his account flagged concerns that the former UKIP leader was "xenophobic and racist".

It triggered a wave of sympathy from right-wing media and politicians. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said there would be a review and the Prime Minister said no one should be unbanked because of their political views.

The reaction bemused Muslims have who have had their bank accounts removed without explanation or uproar.