12 March 2009

Soviet style banking comes to the UK

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I had to read this article from Fraser Nelson in the Spectator twice.  Still now I can’t believe this:

Geoff Robbins, a Cheshire-based computer consultant, recently approached RBS to ask for a credit-card processing facility for his business. After the usual bankers’ inquisition, he was asked a question that knocked him for six: did he have any political affiliation? Did he know any MPs, councillors or mayors? It was a new question, the lady explained to him, which had been introduced soon after the government took control of RBS. She said, in his paraphrase, that ‘political influences may be used for corrupt purposes’.

When I first heard Mr Robbins’s story, it seemed hard to believe. But the more I considered the context of this government’s apparently irrepressible desire to pry into every aspect of out lives, the more it had the awful ring of truth. I decided to investigate further and called RBS, who issued an outright denial. ‘We would never ask such a question, nor would we dream of doing so,’ said its spokeswoman. So Mr Robbins had concocted his story? Unconvinced, I called RBS Streamline, posing as an employee for my mother-in-law’s (real) company and asking for the same service.

Sure enough, the chilling question came at the end: ‘Is she a member of any political party?’ I asked why this was relevant. ‘I presume we ask because there is a high volume of fraud in that sector. Because people who are of that sort of [party political] nature, maybe, are inclined to commit fraud.’ The question, I was told, is ‘thrust upon us by the Financial Services Authority’. The FSA says this is untrue. Banks can check clients’ backgrounds, but no one is required to talk politics.

The article should be read in full.

If  the Government is responsible for this we can look forward to the mother of a political storm. 

This is a scandal and an outrage.  The sacrosanct features of life in Britain as we know it are slowly coming to end.

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1 comment:

  1. wonderfulforhisageMarch 12, 2009 at 10:37 AM

    'If the Government is responsible for this we can look forward to the mother of a political storm.'

    Oh no we can't.

    'This is a scandal and an outrage. The sacrosanct features of life in Britain as we know it are slowly coming to end.'

    I couldn't agree more.

    ReplyDelete