Stop banks discriminating ‘for no reason’

6 July 2023

There have been a number of high profile cases in the media of customers having bank accounts closed with no explanation given by the bank.

Under the Equality Act, it is against the law to discriminate against customers on the basis of their religious and philosophical beliefs. But banks and other financial services seem to think that they can get away with closing people’s accounts for their views as long as they don’t say why.

Core Issues Trust and IFTCC were the first to take on the banks and win. Barclays Bank gave no reason for closing their accounts in 2020 – but it was obvious to  onlookers that they were responding to a vitriolic social media campaign by LGBT activists.

Leader Mike Davidson challenged Barclays through the courts and were recently given over £20,000 – more than they asked for – by Barclays Bank to settle the case.

But they’re far from the only people affected.

The media has also reported that Rev. Richard Fothergill had his account closed after politely expressing his disagreement with Yorkshire Building Society’s promotion of transgender ideology. Various other groups and individuals have revealed that they have had financial services withdrawn from them, including the Free Speech Union and the Triggernometry podcast.

The Telegraph also reported that most banks are signed up to Stonewall diversity schemes raising concerns that activist staff were using their influence to close accounts of people who ‘dared to air a view’.

This became a front page story in the Telegraph as the government said it would instruct banks to protect free speech.

But we need to make sure banks understand that customers shouldn’t be censored by the withdrawal of services.

Write to your bank

Please write to your bank today to ask about membership of Stonewall and policy on account closures.

We suggest you find an email contact or an online feedback form for your bank and send a message like this:

Dear [your bank],

You will be aware of recent concerning media reports about banks closing accounts of customers whose views they may not like. I understand that the government plans to instruct banks to protect free speech as a result.

I would like to ask some questions about your policies relating to this:

1.Is [your bank] a member of a Stonewall diversity scheme?

2. Does [your bank] have a policy to protect the freedom of speech of customers by not allowing the closure of accounts on the basis of expressed viewpoints?

3. Will [your bank] always provide an explanation when it chooses to close the bank account of a customer?

I look forward to your reply.

Best wishes,

[Your name]

Let us know what they say

If you’ve received a reply – or if your bank refuses to respond, we would love to hear from you.

Please contact us to pass on any response you receive.

Find out more about Core Issues Trust
  • Share

Related articles

All content has been loaded.

Take action

Join our email list to receive the latest updates for prayer and action.

Find out more about the legal support we're giving Christians.

Help us put the hope of Jesus at the heart of society.