NatWest freezes Russia Today's bank accounts in the UK

Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2016 06:18 am
From the BBC.

NatWest bank has frozen the accounts of state-run broadcaster Russia Today (RT), its editor-in-chief says.

Margarita Simonyan tweeted: "They've closed our accounts in Britain. All our accounts. 'The decision is not subject to review.' Praise be to freedom of speech!"

RT says the bank gave no explanation for its decision.

It said the entire Royal Bank of Scotland Group, of which NatWest is part, was refusing to service RT.

The broadcaster says NatWest wrote to its London office, saying: "We have recently undertaken a review of your banking arrangements with us and reached the conclusion that we will no longer provide these facilities."
The bank said its decision was final and it is "not prepared to enter into any discussion."

Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2016 09:23 pm
I read that yesterday. I think the world "frozen" is the wrong word, the bank just said that they will no longer be doing business with Russia. However, the Russians have until sometime in December to get their money out and put it with some place else that wants them.

Usually, a "frozen" bank account means the money in is not accessible. This is not the case.
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 12:50 am
It's going to be very hard to pay bills staff etc. without access to a UK bank account. I can't see any others stepping in.

What's more important is Ofcom's ruling. We have very strict laws on broadcast news over here, it has to be factual. Iran's Press TV lost its licence for broadcasting propaganda, I think RT will find themselves in the same boat.
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2016 05:27 am
I'm sure that a nation of 140 Million can figure out a way to pay the staff. If another bank doesn't step in, (do they have small local banks in the UK like in the USA?), there's always money orders or even paying by bank deposit to a foreign bank. One thing's for sure-they cure can't pay them in rubles, or everyone will walk out.

That business of fact checking the broadcasts really caught my eye, I think it's more interesting than the UK bank saying we won't do business. I don't know how I feel about it. On the one hand, it seems perilously close to censorship. On the other, American TV seems to be filled with a lot of nonfactual crap. So I don't know which way to go on this, but it did take me by surprise.
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