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     NatWest - The Biased Bank




In an unprecedented show of political and religious bias National Westminster Bank Plc, now part of the Royal Bank of Scotland, has suddenly and without reason withdrawn banking services from the Islamic Party of Britain who has held an account at the bank’s Piccadilly branch for almost 13 years. 

The bank informed the party by letter that it did “no longer wish to provide banking facilities” and that it was “unwilling to enter into any further discussion on the matter”. During telephone calls the bank described the decision as a “confidential order” which could not be disclosed. Following the party’s attempts to obtain reasons for the decision or have it reconsidered, the bank wrote that the “decision will not be reviewed or reversed”. 

The Islamic Party of Britain sees this as a dangerous development where large corporations abuse the democratic process because somebody with more financial clout might be leaning on them to silence a particular political view. NatWest’s unprecedented move to exclude the only official Islamic political party in Western Europe from banking with the group is part of an increasing witch- hunt against Muslim organisations in the aftermath of September 11. 

The Islamic Party of Britain has formally complained to the Banking Ombudsman, and if NatWest’s decision is not reversed, will be encouraging all individuals and businesses amongst the 2 million Muslims in Britain who hold accounts with NatWest to move them to another bank. The party is currently trying to negotiate an attractive deal with a more Muslim-friendly bank for customers who want to desert NatWest after NatWest has deserted them. 

Islamic Party of Britain
Date: 18 March 2002
email: info@islamicparty.com


Write to: Stuart Higley, Senior Manager, National Westminster Bank Plc, Customer Relations, Level 4, 4 Eastcheap, London EC3M 1AH, Telephone +44 (0)20 8236 8016, Fax +44 (0)20 8236 8010; you can send your fax by email using  remote-printer.Reception@442082368010.iddd.tpc.int saying that you “protest against the bank’s unwarranted closure of the account of the Islamic Party of Britain a/c no. 13182870 at Piccadilly branch (56-00-03) and the bank’s interference in the freedom of political expression in the UK”. 

If you hold an account with Natwest and already have alternative banking facilities, write to your branch requesting the closure of your account due to the uncertainty the news about the closure of the Islamic Party’s account has raised in your mind, and send a copy of the letter to the above Natwest Customer Relations address. 

Contact your local MP and complain about the bank’s action stating that as an Islamic party supporter (or as a citizen generally) you object to this kind of exercise of political control by a bank and want your MP to raise the issue and do something about it. 

Contribute to our campaign fund: S. M. Bleher, a/c no. 52547937 at First Direct (40-47-77).


After having informed the Islamic Party of Britain last week that it was going to withdraw banking facilities and was not prepared to discuss the matter further, in fact writing in response to the party's enquiries that the decision would not be reviewed or reversed, National Westminster Bank plc rescinded this astonishing and unprecedented decision and apologised. The bank with whom the Islamic Party of Britain has had an account since its inception in 1989 regretted its "poor service" and "failure to follow our normal robust internal procedures regarding customer complaints". 

This U-turn follows a campaign called by the Islamic Party of Britain during which numerous members, associates and sympathisers of the party telephoned and faxed NatWest's customer relations department and threatened to severe their ties with NatWest. 

The bank also stated that it had modified its complaints procedures due to this incident and relaunched its altered 'Managing Customers Concerns' procedure throughout the Bank. In addition the bank has made a donation of £500 to the Islamic Party as a gesture of goodwill and to make up for the distress caused. 

The Islamic Party of Britain wishes to express thanks to all those who have supported its campaign against NatWest Bank's initial interference in the democratic process by denying established banking facilities to a minority political party.

Islamic Party of Britain
Date: 22  March 2002
email: info@islamicparty.com

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