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Can Your Freedom of Speech Lead to an Account Loss? Yes, It Can!

Convenience, comfort, safety, security, and freedom are the fundamental things that people usually want to have. This is the reason why bank accounts abroad are so popular: recent events show that you sometimes cannot have these in your home country, and your account may be frozen just because you said something that is not in line with the governmental policy. Is that an exaggeration? No way! In this post, we will discuss the cases when freedom of speech resulted in bank accounts being “suddenly” blocked, and this happens in different countries where such goings-on were hardly imaginable a decade ago. Fortunately, you still have the time to transfer your capital (or at least a part of it) to a safe place using the recommendations of seasoned experts. You can take advantage of International Wealth’s personal banking services or the assistance of any agent well-versed in financial affairs to park your wealth in a place where no one will be able to seize it – or explore the financial landscape by yourself if you are competent enough.

So what happened to Western European countries where freedom of speech has always been a fundamental right? Well, there appeared a lot of opinions about important events in these countries, and some of them conflicted with each other. Problems arise even when leaders try to negotiate and come to an agreement. As a result, heads of state take measures to protect their views and beliefs – especially when people want to challenge their decisions.

The fundamental rights and freedoms have been gradually eroded since Brexit and some major events in the USA, like the Capitol takeover in 2021. As a result, the official opinion of EU authorities and public opinion ceased to be in harmony.

The crises of the early 2020s have demonstrated that disagreement with the official opinion may have far-reaching consequences for an individual. Life may become harder if you stick to your opinion and refuse to do as the government says – up to being arrested! And though we cannot say that barriers to doing business, restricted access to basic services, and loss of jobs are widespread practices in North America or the European Union, we can still witness the first precedents.

Let’s look at the consequences of fighting for your freedom of speech too much using the example of the Freedom Convoy (start of 2022, Canada). Trudeau’s government demanded drivers who enter Canada to have vaccine certificates with them. This decision upset many people, and they supported the protests financially without participating in them. As a result, they woke up one day just to discover that their bank account was frozen all of a sudden – and no explanations followed.

Another bright example was the situation around Nigel Farage, a populist politician in the UK, whose account was suddenly closed in July 2023. He used the financial services of the Coutts Bank, an ancient and respected banking institution established as far back as 1692. The UK government has held the largest ownership stake in the bank since 2008.

When the account was closed, Farage did not receive any official notice explaining the reasons. The whole matter could have slipped away unnoticed, but it did not happen as people were outraged and addressed a lot of inquiries to the bank’s management. Farage said that the account had been closed due to his personal and political beliefs that he freely expressed. As you see, these were serious allegations that you could not brush off easily enough.

Farage was initially claimed to have breached the bank rules by failing to keep the minimum balance on the account, and the political beliefs were in no way related to the closure. However, the politician demanded a full dossier that contained his correspondence with the bank.

The archive was thoroughly explored, and the information found indirectly confirmed that the account had been closed in connection with Farage’s publicly expressed opinion about Brexit and the support of action taken by Donald Trump. Coutts referred to it as “xenophobic and transphobic views”.

Farage claims that this is a dangerous tendency as it marks the trend of adopting a typical Eastern approach by Western countries. A bright example is China where people are required to have certain political beliefs (at least, to express them publicly) to fit into the society. But is that something the Western countries are striving for? A country whose banks discriminate against customers due to their religious, political, or other beliefs is heading for the Middle Ages and starting the era of dictatorship. And this is a trend that should in no way be hushed up.

If the bank could have predicted the public response that Farage’s case caused, it would have acted more wisely. However, Pandora’s box cannot be closed once it is open, and the case ended in the official apologies to Farage by the financial institution’s management and the resignation of its CEO.

The situation with Farage can be regarded from two different points of view. First of all, risks for individual clients may become higher over time. Some citizens will be denied the services unilaterally due to reasons that are in no way related to their financial standing, reliability as a customer, or credit history. A logical solution is to keep the money outside the traditional banking institutions. Alternative forms, like precious metals or cryptocurrency, could be excellent solutions.

This opinion is shared by Claudio Grass who was the first person to draw the public attention to the considerable influence exercised by banks on the wide public. He made a substantial number of thought-provoking inquiries (and there are quite a lot of powerful figures who decided to turn a blind eye to them) in the article published on August 17, 2023 – and it quickly attracted close attention from the public. Mr. Grass claims that it is the banking system itself that poses a considerable threat to the core human values, including freedom of speech.

He recommends keeping your money outside the conventional banking system. However, there is a different solution: you can choose a bank that takes good care of its clients and resolves any arising issues through consultations. This approach can substantially reduce the risks of being reused banking services and allow you to have a reliable financial partner for the long term.

If you need more information or recommendations, please follow the above link. You will be able to get professional assistance from a financial consultant at no charge.

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