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UK FCA Launches Inquiry into Politicians’ Banking Woes Amid ‘Debanking’ Concerns

PEPsUK FCA Launches Inquiry into Politicians' Banking Woes Amid 'Debanking' Concerns

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is urging politicians to share any difficulties they encounter while opening or maintaining bank accounts, as part of an upcoming formal investigation. This inquiry is part of a broader examination into the practice known as “debanking,” which gained attention after Nigel Farage, former leader of the Brexit Party, claimed his account with Coutts bank had been closed due to his political stance.

The FCA is specifically assessing how financial firms have implemented regulations for Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), individuals who hold political positions and their close associates. PEPs are subject to stricter scrutiny due to their potential influence and susceptibility to bribery and corruption. Andrew Griffith, the UK’s financial services minister, has suggested establishing a domestic PEP regime to reflect varying risk levels.

The FCA intends to gather preliminary input before unveiling the complete review details in September. The agency will then produce a comprehensive report by next June. The FCA has stated its intention to proactively engage with UK PEPs, reaching out to parliamentarians, significant political party leaders, senior civil servants, and high-ranking military personnel. The FCA aims to determine any issues or challenges faced by these individuals.

It is important to note that this review is distinct from an urgent data collection initiative called for by the UK’s finance minister, Jeremy, to assess the extent of debanking. This exercise aims to ascertain whether widespread and unjustified debanking practices are occurring, with the findings expected by mid-September.

By FCCT Editorial Team

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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