Debanking: How UK Muslims found common cause with Nigel Farage

The UK is investigating bank account closures – and British Muslim groups say their community is hit hardest.

A woman uses a Lloyds ATM machine in Chelsea, west London February 27, 2009
A woman uses a Lloyds Bank ATM machine in Chelsea, west London, the UK [File: Andrew Winning/Reuters]

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A bank account can be everything in an increasingly cashless society. In the United Kingdom, banks closed more than 343,000 accounts in the last financial year. The practice is known as “debunking”, and clients are given no notice or recourse after they’re flagged as potential risks. Muslim groups have complained for years that they are unfairly targeted. Their cause recently got an unexpected boost from far-right politician Nigel Farage after he uncovered that his account had also been shut down over his political beliefs. This week, the Financial Conduct Authority says a preliminary review has found “no evidence” that banks have shut or denied accounts over customers’ political beliefs. But while Farage’s case drew widespread attention and condemnation, many in the Muslim community say they are still suffering the consequences.

In this episode: 

  • Anas Altikriti (@anasaltikriti), founder and CEO of the Cordoba Foundation

Episode credits:

This episode was produced by Miranda Lin and our host Kevin Hirten, in for Malika Bilal. Fahrinisa Campana and David Enders fact-checked this episode.

Our sound designer is Alex Roldan. Our lead of audience development and engagement is Aya Elmileik. Munera Al Dosari and Adam Abou-Gad are our engagement producers.

Alexandra Locke is The Take’s executive producer, and Ney Alvarez is Al Jazeera’s head of audio.

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Source: Al Jazeera