UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt Failed To Secure A Monzo Bank Account Last Year
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UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said that he was denied a bank account with Monzo in 2022. The Chancellor shared these details to highlight the challenges that are usually faced by people seeking to work in the public space.
Jeremy Hunt was denied a bank account with Monzo
According to Hunt, he was denied the bank account because he was a “politically exposed person (PEP).” The refusal also happened before he became Chancellor. Hunt recommended that the barriers present for those who want to venture into the public sector be dropped where possible.
“If the price of going into public life is that you find it really hard to set up a bank account, then we need to make sure that we remove barriers where we can,” Hunt said in a report by the Financial Times.
Monzo is a popular bank in the UK, with 7.5 million customers. The institution is ranked as a challenger bank where customers open bank accounts that can only be accessed through apps or websites. These accounts remove the need for having branch networks at a high cost.
However, the services offered by Monzo are limited as compared to other commercial banks. Monzo and its competitors do not provide their customers with mortgages, making them over-reliant on the fees and interest charged on smaller loans like overdrafts.
The bank was founded in 2015 and only attained profitability for the first time during the first two months of the year. The bank has failed to provide a solid reason behind its refusal to open a bank account for Hunt. It has also not verified Hunt’s allegations of the refusal being attributed to him being a politically exposed person.
PEPs admit to challenges in opening bank accounts
PEPs have been described as people that are prominent in public functions. The UK has strict regulations around PEPs as they are deemed to be at risk of abusing their positions for personal gains and using the financial system for money laundering.
These institutions are needed to undergo a high level of scrutiny when using the services provided by financial institutions like banks. There are also concerns that banks might be too strict in implementing the laid-out guidelines.
Past reports have revealed how several PEPs, including a former UKIP councilor, a father’s rights charity, and equalities leaders, have been denied a chance to have bank accounts. Hunt’s peers, such as Lord Clarke of Nottingham, have also spoken out after their credit cards were canceled because of these tough restrictions.
Lord Clarke spoke with the Telegraph, saying that he received many demands from American Express to avail the necessary documentation and financial details. These demands were made despite him having a credit card for decades. He opined that while he views these demands as outrageous, he has since gotten used to them and is no longer bothered by them.