The Co-op bank have closed the Palestine Solidarity Campaign bank account!
PSC along with 20 local groups working for Palestine (including 10 PSC branches) have had their bank accounts unilaterally closed by the Co-operative bank. The reason? The Co-op bank say they’ve changed their “risk appetite”. Apparently Palestinian human rights are too “risky” for the Co-operative bank.
PSC is not having it. Today it launched a legal case against the Co-operative bank calling this what it is – discrimination. (See press release for details). As well as taking legal action. PSC needs you to stand with them and show the Co-op bank that campaigning for Palestinian human rights shouldn’t be punished.
So many of us opened our accounts with the Co-operative Bank because they market themselves as an ethical alternative. Professing their moral high ground in their ethical policy they proclaim to act with “honesty and transparency,” to treat their “customers fairly” and to believe in “promoting human rights and equality”. Well there is little evidence of any of these principles today.
They have chosen to close the accounts of 20 organisations working for human rights and equality for Palestinians – and they have offered no honest or transparent explanation, only citing the banking jargon “risk appetite”.
It is quite clear the Co-operative Bank no longer cares about human rights – the Palestinians suffer incursions on their human rights day in, day out at the hands of an occupying military force that continues to violate international law. In the UK we have a great tradition of solidarity organisations coming together to stand against human rights violations throughout the world – this is something that the Co-operative Bank should support, not punish. To those who still bank with the Co-op because of their ethical principles – it seems they have turned their bank on their ethics, so PSC is asking you to turn your back on them. Close your Co-op bank account and write to them to tell them why.
For suggestions of alternative banks, visit www.moveyourmoney.org.uk. While their ethical banking page still lists the Co-op (don’t worry we’re writing to them about this) they do offer other alternative options. Moving bank account is a big decision – and it can be a real pain! But we need to show big businesses they can’t profit off of fake ethics. If they believe in human rights and equality – that includes Palestine too.