The Co-operative bank has shut down the account of Oxford’s Palestinian Society, along with several pro-Palestinian organisations including branches of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC), prompting accusations of discrimination.
Some of the now account-less groups are considering legal action against the bank, citing violations of the Equality Act 2010. Oxford’s Labour Club, OUSU’s CRAE, and others have signed a statement of solidarity with PalSoc. The statement reports that The Co-Operative Bank considered the account to be “high-risk”.
The bank’s response suggested that they were concerned about the funnelling of money into a “high-risk” area that might “inadvertently fund illegal or other proscribed activities.” The Co-Operative Bank’s divestment to combat terrorism also targeted a scholarship fund (a registered charity) and tourism initiative.
The Co-operative Group itself naturally has a reputation for being a beacon of upstanding morality. Significant investments made by former senior bosses of the Bank were in cocaine, crystal meth, and rent-boys. Classy guys.
PalSoc and a signatory of the above statement have not replied to requests for comment.