One of the biggest news stories of the week has skyrocketed the word ‘debanking’ into mainstream usage. It has been a talking point after allegations have been made that banks have been closing accounts due to the political views of the account holders. However, Watchdog revealed that after an investigation it found no evidence of this. FCA Chief Executive Nikhil Rathi denied the accusation but did leave room for further questions to be asked on the matter by saying: “While no bank, building society or payment firm reported to us that they had closed accounts primarily due to someone’s political views, further work is needed for us to be sure.”
At the centre of this saga is none other than Nigel Farage, who tweeted a video of him speaking. In what was either a bid to reiterate his point as much as possible, or another Ed Balls-esque example of a politician not fully understanding how to use social media, Farage would retweet his own tweet that same day.
As you would expect on a Twitter feed sparked by a Farage tweet, there was a plethora of comments from those on either side of allegiance to Farage. Many rushed to his defense, with commenters dishing out simple responses such as “right as always” and “totally agree with you”. Some others showed their disapproval, best done by one user displaying textbook British sarcasm saying; “How are you so good at making a mountain out of a molehill?”
Social media proved that the focus of the story had shifted as it continued, going from a banking story to a Nigel Farage story, an angle that some comments accuse him of making it all about him to stay relevant.
Regardless of the opinion of Farage, this has been the biggest banking-related talking point of the week without his presence. All major publications have reported on it and each one has spurred its own comment section, questioning the overall trust for the banks and higher powers as a whole.
Finally, there is the question: do the public really care that much? GlobalData analyst Phoebe Hodgson in this piece, suggests not too many will allow it to influence their choice of bank.
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