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Banks Gang Up on Palestinian & Muslim Charities

The following news item is quoyed from the Chatity Finance website and their is also a linked blog post by Vibeka Mair. I thought it was important for Muslims to see that this is shocking and unprecedented behaviour, surprising even to those like myself who have been long involved in the charity sector

Trustees of the UK-based Palestinian charity Interpal met representatives from the Treasury last month to protest about Lloyds TSB’s move to cut off the charity’s bank account. The trustees met Lord Myners, financial services secretary to the Treasury, at their request to complain about the fact that Lloyds TSB has stopped clearing Interpal’s cheques presented through the charity’s bank, the Islamic Bank of Britain.

A spokeswoman for the charity said the meeting did not bear any real fruit. “All levels of government know about the situation but still nothing is being done,” she said. However, she added that an interim solution had been found – the Islamic Bank of Britain has been able to transfer funds overseas for Interpal via other means. “They found a way to work around the service that Lloyd’s had been providing. We know this has been successful because we have spoken to people on the ground in Palestine.” However, Interpal still needed a long-term solution to the problem.

A spokesman for the Treasury said the government wasn’t getting involved “at this stage”. “At the moment it is just a commercial matter for the bank,” the spokesman said. However, he added that “not everyone that asks for a meeting with a minister gets one”.

Elsewhere, Barclays Bank has decided to close the account of humanitarian charity Ummah Welfare Trust (UWT), an Islamic charity which works in 20 countries worldwide including Afghanistan, Palestine and Pakistan. Barclays Bank has refused to give the charity a specific reason. UWT director Mohammed Ahmed said Barclays simply told him “it’s because of risk exposure.”

However, Ahmed added that the Charity Commission, who has met with UWT (pictured) to discuss Barclays’ decision, told him it would request a reason from the bank on the charity’s behalf. UWT, which gets much of its income from regular givers, will now face extra costs to tell donors to change the details of their direct debits or standing order.

The charity also fears it will lose donors who will not want the hassle of setting up a new standing order.
Dangerous precedent Barclays added an extra 21 days to UWT’s original 30-day notice on the account closure after the charity complained that it didn’t have sufficient time to deal with all of its direct debits and standing orders. Ahmed, however, believes the charity still does not have adequate time.nUWT is now looking at its options and considering a campaign.

“This decision sets a dangerous precedent of disrupting British charities without any substantiation,” said Ahmed. “This decision will not only affect the great work carried out by UWT but will affect millions of people who rely on UWT.”

It might be quite timely to read our previous post “Alhamdulillah for Lloyds TSB

3 Responses

  1. This is a disgrace and clearly prejudicial against islamic charities. They’ve done the same thing with businesses as well. The 30-day notice clause should be reviewed in addition to providing sufficient reasons for the closure. If a reason is given, the charity at least knows how to address it – so the next bank doesnt close either. It’s no wonder that confidence is low and investors are taking their money overseas. Can’t trust the UK Banks anymore.

  2. Given the connection, i’m pretty clear we can’t trust ANY banks

  3. Aslmkm,

    Just thought of sharing some information in regards to Islamic banking and finance and the latest happening in Malaysia. There has been effort by a local bank to introducing the Gold Dinar as a medium of exchange and as saving/investment instrument. This effort is still very much in the preliminary stage and I do hope it will come to fruitation if Allah SWT is willing.

    Hopefully with this small humble start we can get more Muslims to see possibility of finally replacing the current Fiat Monetary/Banking System be replaced by the Gold Dinar standard which is based on a commodity that holds intrinsic value.

    Please pray for us as a small group of us is trying to make it happen here in Malaysia as proposed by our former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed.

    Wassalam.

    Keturunan Jebat

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