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Palestine advocacy group fights closure of UK bank accounts Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Palestine advocacy group fights closure of UK bank accounts

Support for Palestinian rights is growing in the UK [AFP]

Date of publication: 25 November, 2015

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Blog: After closing the accounts of a number of British pro-Palestinian activist groups, the Co-op bank is now facing legal action launched by The Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
A pro-Palestine activist group has said it will take legal action against one of the UK's leading banks on grounds of discrimination.

Last month, the Cooperative Bank closed the account of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, citing "the bank's risk appetite".

A number of other groups working on Palestinian issues also had their accounts closed, according to the PSC.

The activist group and its legal team said that the decision by the Co-op is "discriminatory", contravening the 2010 Equality Act.
"Our clients have been refused banking services, without any reason or an opportunity to provide representation," said the ITN law firm, on behalf of PSC.

"It appears that the decision was taken because of PSC's support for Palestine. A decision based on active support of Palestinian causes - or on the nationality or religion of the Palestinian people - would be discriminatory."

ITN said that Co-op's failure to provide reasons for the closure of the account led them to conclude it was to to the PSC's "cogent belief in Palestinian rights".

Sarah Colborne, PSC's director, said that the decision by Co-op had particular resonance due to its reputation as an "ethical bank".

"Many people and organisations choose to bank with the Co-operative because it markets itself as an ethical bank," she said. 

"But in deciding to close down the accounts of those working for or in Palestine it is clear the Co-op Bank has turned its back on its ethical principles."

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