Christian ministry demands Barclays reopen bank account after Nigel Farage debanking exposed


A Christian ministry is calling on Barclays Bank to reinstate its account in the wake of the Nigel Farage Coutts accounts row that led to the resignation of NatWest boss Alison Rose.

The Core Issues Trust (CIT) and its partner ministry, the International Federation for Therapeutic and Counselling Choice (IFTCC), were informed by Barclays in July 2020 that their banking facilities were being discontinued. 

Last month, Barclays agreed to pay them $25,818 (£20,000) in compensation plus legal costs, but has still not given any reason for why it closed their accounts. Despite agreeing to the settlement last month, the accounts remain closed.

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CIT founder Mike Davidson said he was "very encouraged" that the Farage row had exposed "how far reaching" the issue of banking discrimination is, as he warned that "banks are suppressing Christian freedoms" too. 

He called on Barclays Bank to issue a full apology for closing the accounts and to reinstate them. 

"We are looking into options for how we can continue to hold Barclays to account and will press on to find out why they took the decisions they did," he said.

"It is clear that anyone who does not bow down and pledge allegiance to the pride flag could have their account closed and be forced to become a 'non-person' in this country." 

He added, "We will continue to speak out and support the freedom of individuals to voluntarily seek professional or pastoral care to change identities and behaviors. This is not a matter that banking corporations should seek to control, influence or suppress." 

The CIT and IFTCC have been targeted by LGBT activists because they advocate for therapeutic choice for people struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria.

During a campaign of harassment in 2020, they received hundreds of nuisance calls and intimidating messages, including a text to Davidson expressing the hope that staff and his family members would be raped and killed.

Davidson's appeal for the reinstatement of the CIT and IFTCC bank accounts is backed by over 72,000 people who have signed a petition on CitizenGo

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which supported the CIT and IFTCC in their claim of unlawful discrimination, said: "It is now high time, especially following recent revelations, that Barclays apologize and reinstate the accounts."

She added, "If banks and other service providers placate hardened activists by removing bank accounts from good and law-abiding customers who are being targeted because of their Christian faith then we're in a very dark place in this country."

The closure of Farage's Coutts account sparked a major row over free speech after the former UKIP leader claimed it was because of his political views. 

The BBC reported an unnamed source "familiar with" the Coutts decision as saying that the account was closed because Farage fell below the financial threshold for an account with the prestigious bank, which is owned by NatWest.

Days later, Farage wrote in The Telegraph that he had obtained a dossier from the bank using a subject access request that showed his account was closed because he did not "align with their values."

The BBC has since apologised for its original report and Rose resigned as NatWest CEO after admitting to being the story's source. 

Originally published at Christian Today 

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