GB News: Vince Cable on debanking scandal
Arch Remainer Sir Vince Cable has joined Nigel Farage’s war on banks describing the closure of accounts for political reasons as “outrageous”.
The former Lib Dem leader was Business Secretary in the Tory/ Lib Dem coalition when he oversaw the Post Office being privatised effectively ending the right to a bank account in the UK.
Speaking on Mr Farage’s show tonight, Sir Vince agreed that there should be a right to a bank account and said he supported the former Brexit Party leader’s campaign for a universal right to have an account.
He said: “You would have to be careful about people who won’t bank responsibly and there are people involved in semi-fraud and so on.
“The banks have to have a power to reject on genuine commercial grounds but subjective judgements of the kind that you [Mr Farage] have experienced and many others have experienced is completely off the wall and shouldn’t be accepted.”
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Sir Vince said he had no idea that so many bank accounts a day would be closed when he privatised the Post Office.
But he disputed that there had ever been a right to have an automatic bank account in the UK.
He said: “I’m not sure it was ever enshrined in law.”
But he accepted that the pandemic had accelerated the move towards a cashless society.
He also agreed that it was “as vital to people as water and electricity.”
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Sir Vince also said that the banks had reneged on a deal he agreed with them in Government of “the last bank in town” remaining with a branch so towns and villages were not left without access to banking.
He warned that many elderly people in particular struggle to deal with digital banks.
Sir Vince also said that people who deal with the cash business “including sex workers” should not be de-banked under the money laundering rules.
He said: “Really the banks should be treated like a utility and regulated in that way but at the moment they are able to do what they want.”
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