Banks may do more harm than good by zealously denying essential financial services – Asheem Singh

Responding to the Times story today about the blacklisting on an international development charity, ACEVO Director of Public Policy Asheem Singh said:

‘The biggest risk is that of risk aversion – whereby banks cut swathes of islamic charities out of the banking system. The surest way to guarantee fraud or worse terrorist activity is to force humanitarian organisations to carrycash which may be misappropriated by dark forces running riot in areas of conflict and great human need. Banks may do more harm than good by zealously denying essential financial services.

‘We respect that each case has its own individual circumstance but we will be writing to the head of Barclays bank to seek assurance that such cases are being decided on the basis of rigorous, impartial and unimpeachable protocols and that the moral dilemmas for charities operating in conflict zones are properly understood. The obverse would be damaging for all of us.’

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