3.8 billion people have a bank account world wide. Banking both in physical and online formats has made life easier for many from the use of direct debits and standing orders, to being able to use a bank account to take a salary. As such, you would think that banks would welcome any and all custom, after all, the more customers they have, the better their reputation. But that doesn’t seem to be the case any more.
Imagine for a moment, that you’re out shopping one day, you go to pay for the items that you want, but when you go to make the payment, your card is declined. You don’t have the cash on hand for the payment, so you rush to the cash machine to get money, but instead of being able to get money out, your card doesn’t work, the same thing happens at the other cash points you try. You then open the banking app on your phone, but that doesn’t work either.
You’re left with no choice but to abandon your shopping and check with your bank what the issue is. You go to the nearest branch, and they’re confused, you wait an hour and eventually you meet the manager of the branch who reads you the following statement:
“We have locked your back account. We can’t give you any more information. We might be in touch in the future with more information, but we don’t know when that might be.”
You are denied the chance to get any money, you then spend weeks, even months trying to get a handle on why this has happened, the bank refuses to explain, until eventually you get a letter from your bank explaining that ‘under terms and conditions’ the account and banking facilities had been withdrawn.
Sounds horrifying doesn’t it? Seems like something out of a movie, after all, what bank would actually do that to a customer?
Well it did happen, to a woman named Laura Towler, a founding member of Patriotic Alternative, a British group that is seen as the next generation version of the BNP. Fowler is notorious for her campaigns against mass migration and subtle nods to her anti semitic stances. She doesn’t sound like a nice person does she? Would you, the reader, feel justified if you learned that it appears that her bank Santander expelled her as a customer due to her aforementioned views?
We should all be careful about how we view this. Towler may hold views we consider abhorrent, but the fact that she, her fellow Patriotic Alternative founder Mark Collett and other leading white identitarians such as Laura Loomer have had their accounts suspended or removed, for the apparent reason of having views that their banks find abhorrent, should raise fears for the public.
Towler, Collett, Loomer etc. hold views that are beyond the pale in the mainstream, but given that 3.8 billion people have a bank account worldwide, and the previously stated uses of bank accounts in the modern day, that they do not have one is worrying. This is further amplified by Laura Loomer’s own case.
Loomer is a right wing provocateur who has been banned from a whole host of apps, allegedly for having views that contradict the terms and conditions of those apps. Some of those bans have been self afflicted, such as when she went on a long rant about not being able to find a non-Muslim Uber drive in 2017. Others appear to be a cascade, she was banned from TeeSpring after being banned from PayPal and the latter made clear to the former that they should stop working with her if they wanted to keep PayPal on as a client. Same with Venmo and The Cash App. Removing Loomer from PayPal preceded her losing her bank account, preventing her from receiving payments from supporters, thus preventing her from being able to potentially pay rent and utilities or maintain a presence online.
Something that is incredibly crushing for a person who is running for office in this year’s midterm elections. Without the ability to use an old or set up a new bank account, Loomer cannot take donations and cannot pay for a proper campaign, nor can she maintain a healthy social media profile. Given her views, one might wonder what the big deal is. After all, the less we profile bigots the better right?
In this instance, it would seem that this is the wrong view to take.
Loomer is not going away, nor are those like her. Indeed, by running her and those like her off of social media, and by depriving them of bank accounts, an argument can be made that you are simply feeding the beast. That meaning, the more they are deprived of resources simply for their views, either their views will harden, and they will become more extreme, or they will disappear. As of right now, the evidence suggests that the former is happening, not the latter.
3.81 billion people use social media worldwide. Roughly 70% of those in the developing world and 40% of those in the old world acknowledge that they primarily get their news from social media. The more that big corporations such as Santander or HSBC, or even Facebook, PayPal and Twitter try to hurt those who do not conform to their views, the greater likelihood there is that radicalisation will occur.
Why? Because these corporations are seen as being in the mainstream, they as Yorkshire Tea and Tampax have found out, help set the cultural narrative, should they take actions without explanation as Santander and HSBC have done, they can deny people the chance to safely earn a living, and without money in their pocket, and the ability to have a decent life, people tend to embrace radicalism.
No mainstream narrative about bigoted views or tolerance will be able to bring these people back in from the cold, especially when they learn that attempts to ensure everyone had the right to a bank account were cut down by the big banks, who cared more about their image than the actual long term ramifications of this.
In an age where conformity means safety, big corporations such as banks who previously used to rely on public goodwill to keep going, are now pushing onward into controlling the social as well as economic narrative. The long term consequences of this emerging trend look grim for society, after all, who knows what will be considered in violation of terms and conditions for a Bank Account in five years time.