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Monzo calls for mandatory gambling blocks on all UK bank accounts

Monzo calls for mandatory gambling blocks on all UK bank accounts

Monzo has called on the UK Government to mandate the use of gambling access blocks on all UK bank accounts.

The open letter, supported by top NHS clinicians, gambling harm charities and leading academics, calls for new rules that would mean every bank customer in the UK has access to a gambling block on their account, regardless of who they bank with.

It comes amid a rise in online gambling during the UK's extended lockdown as the Government undertakes a review of the Gambling Act for the first time since 2015.

In June 2018, Monzo was the first bank to launch a gambling block, an initiative which has since been aped by a number of the UK's biggest banks. However, research last year from Bristol University and Gamble Aware found that as many as 28 million current account holders in the UK may not have access to a gambling block.

Many gambling firms are now offering new payment methods, including bank transfers. As it stands, banks can’t consistently access the data needed to prevent these direct payments.

Monzo is asking that gambling firms disclose their account details on a central registry, enabling all UK banks to extend their gambling blocks to cover bank transfers.

"We’re already working on a pilot project of our own, but scaling this in a meaningful way for our customers requires Government support," says Monzo CEO TS Anil. "While the review of the Gambling Act has brought this important topic to the table again - we should be clear that it’s not just the gambling companies that should be doing more; every UK bank should step up and help their customers too."

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 17 February, 2021, 09:24Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

is this just to preserve Monzo customer base in case they switch to another UK Bank as a way to get round this offering? what next list to block payments to Pub chains...


Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith - RTGS & ClearBank - London 17 February, 2021, 17:18Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The real issue is that, anyone with a gambling addiction will look to get round any such controls. So the issue isnt one of applying a lock on the bank, its an issue of the gambling firms stepping up to the plate and actually knowing their customers sufficiently enough to take the appropriate action...But that maybe counter their shareholders desires...