Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller has urged the government to intervene into bank account closures as one for her political party faces being shut.
The businesswoman opened a Monzo account for her “True and Fair” party in November 2021 but was informed in an email earlier this month that it would be closed in September.
According to the BBC, Ms Miller received an email from the bank telling her it was unable to disclose why the action had been taken.
“We can’t share the specific reason for closing your account. As a bank we regularly review and sometimes close accounts as part of our legal and regulatory responsibilities,” the email said.
Monzo has since told the BBC it does not allow political party accounts and made an error in allowing it to be opened.
The company added it recognised the experience would have been “frustrating for the customer and we’re sorry for that”.
‘The Government has to step in’
Ms Miller, who repeatedly locked horns with Boris Johnson’s government over its handling of Brexit, told the BBC: “The Government has to step in. We do not have a functioning democracy if you cannot access a bank account.”
The 58-year-old said she was seeking further information about the account closure with no suggestion her political views were involved in the case.
Monzo said the True and Fair account was not originally categorised as a political party when it was opened in November 2021.
Ms Miller launched the True & Fair Party in January 2022 promising “long overdue changes to British politics” including policies to reform the voting system and enforcing rules on how MPs conduct themselves.
‘We do not accept a range of organisations’
A spokeswoman for Monzo told the BBC: “Like lots of banks, we do not accept any political parties as Monzo Business customers in the same way that we don’t currently accept trusts, clubs and a range of other organisations.
“In this case, the account wasn’t originally categorised as a political party.
“After this was identified and corrected, the customer was given notice that the account would be closed. We recognise that this experience will have been frustrating for the customer and we’re sorry for that.”
The campaigner’s experience with Monzo emerged in the wake of a scandal engulfing NatWest over the decision to close Nigel Farage’s accounts which has led to the resignation of Dame Alison Rose, the chief executive of NatWest Group, and Peter Flavel, the chief executive of Coutts, a subsidiary of NatWest.
On Thursday, Rishi Sunak refused to endorse NatWest’s beleaguered chairman Sir Howard Davies, insisting people should not be deprived banking services over their political views.
Earlier this month, The Telegraph reported that Jeremy Hunt was also denied a Monzo account and was among a number of politicians who have been denied a bank account because of a “completely disproportionate” application of money laundering rules.
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