Anorak News | RBS Wants To Know Your Politics When You Open An Account

RBS Wants To Know Your Politics When You Open An Account

by | 17th, March 2009

MOONBATTERY picks up this gem on how RBS has asks anyone seeking yo open a new account for their political leanings:

Fraser Nelson makes the call:

When I was told by Geoff Robbins, a computer consultant, that he had been asked about his political connections before opening an account with the state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland it sounded fantastical. Having the state owning the UK banking system is bad enough, but asking about party membership before you open an account? Not in Britain, I thought. And indeed, the RBS press office denied it outright. “We would not ask that question, nor dream of doing so,” said an RBS spokeswoman. So had Robbins concocted his story? I doubted it. So I called RBS Streamline myself and pretend to set up an account for credit card processing facility. I used the details of my mother-in-law’s real company and when they started to talk politics, I switched on the tape recorder.

Sure enough, the bank wanted to know his mother-in-law’s party affiliation, and wouldn’t proceed without it:

The explanation:

RBS acknowledged that their staff has been asking about political affiliation after all. Their statement:-

“As part of our implementation of FSA guidelines around Anti-Money Laundering activities, we introduced questions on Politically Exposed Persons as part of our account opening procedures. This has meant that staff in some instances have been asked to enquire about whether someone is a Politically Exposed Person. Unfortunately, they have asked the question of political affiliation instead. We have taken all necessary steps to ensure that our customers teams are aware of the difference and will change practices with immediate effect. This issue will also be highlighted in our ongoing staff training programmes on this important topic.”

Well, not a conspiracy – not really. It’s an act of stupidity. No?

Spotter: Gregory of Yardale, and Moonbattery

Posted: 17th, March 2009 | In: Money Comment | TrackBack | Permalink