The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has announced it will further investigate the de-banking of gamblers.
The UK conduct regulator of close to 50,000 companies is aimed at ensuring all financial markets are “honest, competitive, and fair” and has completed its initial data exercise on bank account access and closure. The most common arguments bank service providers offered for shutting down, suspending, or declining accounts were account inactivity/sleeping accounts and concerns related to financial crimes.
Over the years, certain UK banks have been known to close the accounts of clients who were involved in gambling activities, as a result of the associated anti-money laundering risks and obligations that were perceived as being higher.
The watchdog would also look into standard bank account applications and terminations that had been declined, as well as the reasons why 1.1 million in the UK were currently “unbanked”, along with studying the main characteristics of the said population.
It can’t happen in Australia!
Australia is rapidly heading towards becoming a “cashless society” as banks crack down on withdrawals, close ATMs and branches and ban cash altogether. KYC regulations and AML/CTF considerations are also driving banks to limit cash transactions.
In July a pro poker player unleashed on a major bank and accused them of engaging in “despicable behaviour” after his account was blocked over a “very modest” cash deposit.
Crispin Rovere, also an Australian expert on US defence and politics, visited a smart ATM to deposit the lump sum after a successful poker session. Rovere made his deposit without any incident but seconds later he received a message from a hotel saying they’d attempted to charge his card, but it had declined.
“I immediately tried to log into internet banking, but it was locked and said I had to call. I did so and was informed the fraud unit had locked it.”
“The fraud team blocked my account. At first, I assumed it was for my own protection,” he wrote.
“They demanded to know where the money came from. I told them it was lawful and none of their business.
He insisted the deposit was “way, way less” than $10,000 – the amount which typically triggers scrutiny and requires Australians to submit an official threshold transaction report. “They refused to give names or put the request in writing but said the account would not be unblocked until I adequately explained these funds.”
RBA, AUD: Australia to be ‘functionally cashless’ by 2025 | news.com.au — Australia’s leading news site
Cashless: Westpac customer reveals what happened after a ‘modest’ cash depiost | news.com.au — Australia’s leading news site