UK chancellor Jeremy Hunt says he was refused a bank account by Monzo when he was a backbencher last year, claiming he was subject to differential treatment as a 'politcally exposed person'.
Hunt is the latest public figure to raise the issue, after Brexit mouthpiece Nigel Farage claimed that he had been locked out of the banking system by the over-zealous interprentation of anti-money laundering rules.
“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 told the FT. “I think that’s why I was declined by Monzo for an account last year.”
Banks are required to subject PEPs to extra checks because of a potentially increased risk of money laundering.
Farage's claims have been dismissed by his bank Coutts, which claims that his acccount was closed because his balance dipped below the lower limit required at the prestigious bank. Monzo has refused to comment on Hunt's case.
Amid the row, the Government has tabled an amendment to the Financial Services and Markets Bill that will require the Financial Conduct Authority to review the way banks treat PEPs.
A spokesman for the FCA says: "Over the past 18 months, we have reminded banks of the need to be proportionate.
"Some have improved their processes as a result, and they all now have a direct point of contact for people to report issues."