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Weaponising banks against men

By Bettina Arndt - posted Friday, 7 July 2023

Last week, Nigel Farage's bank announced they were closing his accounts. The controversial UK politician had been with the bank for 40 years and was given no reason for the decision. Since then, Farage has tried unsuccessfully to get accounts at seven other banks.

Farage believes he has been targeted by the corporate world which "had not forgiven him for Brexit." He claims that losing his bank account makes him a "non-person" and he is not sure he will be able to continue to live in the UK. Three members of Mr Farage's immediate family have also recently had their accounts closed by UK banks, as have two former Brexit Party MPs. A vicar was also dropped as a customer after criticising his lender's stance on LGBTQ+

There's growing evidence that banking systems are now being used to exert social and political control. Remember the Canadian banks complying with Trudeau's request to freeze the bank accounts of the truckers involved in the Canadian Freedom protests?


Alexandra Marshall in Spectator Australia warned banks are playing politics, tracking similar action by Paypal and other payment gateways now freezing accounts of journalists. She argues if we don't do something about this, banking discrimination won't be limited to political figures such as Farage or high-profile journalists but rather the banks will be coming for you.

Listen up, men. That's happening right now.

Last week, the National Australia Bank (NAB) announced they plan to "cut off" customers found to be financial abusers, spelling out this means suspending, cancelling, or denying such people access to their accounts.

They call this "debanking" - cutting off the accounts of any man who is accused of being a financial abuser. How apt that the late, great comedian Barry Humphries once pointed out that NAB was another word for stealing!

But how will the banks prove they are dealing with actual perpetrators of this abuse? No problem. Believe women! Here's the Australian Banking Association (ABA) cheerfullyexplaining that their guidelines on financial abuse specify no evidence is required if a woman claims her partner is an abuser: "The guideline recognises that banks don't need legal evidence of domestic violence, such as an Apprehended Violence Order, to be able to offer assistance to customers," said a ABA Executive, Diane Tate.

And what angry divorcing woman could resist destroying her ex-hubby's credit rating? This ploy is not yet implemented, but rather simply recommended by the Centre for Women's Economic Safety report, Designed to Disrupt, which maps out the feminist plans to use banks to tackle financial abuse. The feminists certainly see this as a great idea: "Consider the potential to develop a process to make an adverse credit report for a perpetrator of financial abuse which can be made concurrent to correction for victim-survivor, so that there is a material consequence that impacts on the ability to get future credit," writes the author, UNSW Social Science professor Catherine Fitzpatrick.


Let that sink in. What we are talking about here is banks deliberately trashing a man's credit rating as punishment when that person has not been convicted, charged, perhaps not even notified of the accusations. Doesn't that take the cake?

That one is for the future, but right now we have NAB cutting off men's accounts, with CommBank lining up to do so and Westpac likely to follow suit. These institutions never actually admit that the new apparatus is primarily targeting men. But even though Catherine Fitzpatrick in The Conversation claims about 1.6 million Australian women and 745,000 men have experienced economic or financial abuse, her article makes clear their true intentions: "challenging the acceptance of violence against women is essential to respond to specific gendered drivers of violence."

The carefully orchestrated campaign enlisting our banks to tackle financial abuse has been promoted by the key organisations in the domestic violence industry which are shameless in their anti-male rhetoric. Comm Bank gave a cool half a million dollars a few years ago for research on financial abuse to UNSW's Gendered Violence Research Network – the name is a bit of a give-away.

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This article was first published on Bettina Arndt.

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About the Author

Bettina Arndt is a social commentator.

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