We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Hoist by our own petard? Thoughts on the de-banking of Nigel Farage

In case you are not aware of this – and there is no way you would if you got all your news from the Sky website – yesterday we learnt that political entrepreneur, Mr Brexit, and all-round inconvenience to the Establishment, Nigel Farage, has had his bank account closed. No explanation has been offered. When he attempted to open an account at other banks (6 or 7 according to him) he was turned down in every case.

Wow! just wow.

It’s nothing new of course. Similar things have happened to Toby Young of the Free Speech Union and to the guys at Triggernometry. It comes at a time when any number of people have been kicked off social media or lost their jobs as a result of expressing the wrong opinion. I believe even The Boss once fell into the former category.

But, Patrick, you are a libertarian. Surely, you believe in producer sovereignty? Surely, you believe that a bank or any other private institution has every right to decide who it trades with and more pertinently who it doesn’t trade with?

I do indeed. But cherchez l’état. Once upon a time there was such a thing as the Ecology Building Society. It took in deposits and lent it out to – as it would see it – eco-friendly projects. It wasn’t very big and was eventually closed down by regulation. More recently, some of you will be aware of the travails of Dave Fishwick. He didn’t think banks in Burnley were much cop so he tried to set up his own. Not an easy thing to do as it turned out. So difficult in fact that – IIRC – only one new bank had been established in the UK in the last 50 years. The bank in question was Metro Bank which I believe has also been involved in a bit of cancellation recently. Fishwick eventually got his way but only by a bit of creative loophole exploitation.

So, essentially, a bank is very much a creature of the state. It is subject to the arbitrary whims of a capricious master. All very medieval. What are the chances that all these banks have been lent on? High, I would say. This wasn’t always the case. A hundred years ago – where I spend a lot of my time – there were any number of banks. Some of them were not particularly well run but it would appear that if you were dissatisfied with the banks on offer you could set up your own.

But hang about, if Farage’s de-banking is all to do with state regulation how come all those people got cancelled on social media which has almost no regulation at all? Er…

Update 1/7/23 It would appear that the Ecology Building Society is very much still with us.

28 comments to Hoist by our own petard? Thoughts on the de-banking of Nigel Farage

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    I am preaching to the choir in these parts, but banking has ceased in many ways to have much to do with free enterprise capitalism for decades. This is also, by the way, why I am hostile to the idea of central bank digital currencies, given their potential/actual use for Chinese-style “social credit” systems of behaviour control. In my day job, I come across a few gushing papers from banks about the marvels of CBDCs, and only the smallest flicker of concern about the privacy/state control angle.

    To have a bank account, or bank access in general, denied to a person without explanation ought to be grounds for serious concern. From time to time the regulator in the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority, and various other worthies, raise the subject about the problem of “lack of access” to financial services. Part of why this happens is because financial services are among the most regulated of human activities, outside of medicine.

    Farage has not, as far as I know, been accused of violating anti-money laundering/know-your-client rules, or tax evasion, or some other egregious offence.

    We had the case in Canada a year or so ago of where Justin Trudeau’s administration froze the bank accounts of people contributing to anti-vaccine passport truckers who were protesting.

    Given that Farage, Triggernometry’s presenters, and others tick the boxes of irritating the purveyors of received wisdom, this looks to be an open-and-shut case of using the banking system to crush dissent.

    And all this, under a er, well, “Conservative” government.

    We are so fucked.

  • Y. Knott

    “how come all those people got cancelled on social media which has almost no regulation at all?”

    – Trump. It was always Trump. Just ask them… 😉

  • jon eds

    Hard to think what the double vaccinated soft ball interview giving guys at Triggernometry did to offend their bank. Must be their anti-woke stance.

    To a significant degree conservatives are to blame for the current state of affairs – for decades we have not stood up to the left and said ‘no, you are wrong. Not just a little bit, but completely wrong’. Of course they have no doubt about the virtuousness of their actions.

  • Paul Marks.

    Johnathan Pearce makes the matter fairly clear – but I will go over the ground (yet again – I have often done so before).

    There is an international agenda to crush political and cultural agenda.

    This is at the heart of such things as DEI (EDI in Britain), ESG and the E.U. “Politically Exposed Persons” (PEP) doctrine.

    Credit money (fiat money) and tax law have concentrated the economy under a few banks, other financial entities and other corporations – how credit money works to concentrate wealth was first explored by Richard Cantillon some 300 years ago, and has often been mentioned on this site (and that the degree of credit money now is so vast that it is vastly beyond anything that Mr Cantillon had to deal with). And how tax law concentrates the control of shares in the hands of a few entities (rather than lots of “Aunt Agatha” types) has also been explored on this site many times.

    In the United States even the ordinary “man in the street” knowns that (for example) that BlackRock has (due to tax law and the funny money of the Federal Reserve and the Credit Bubble banks) vast influence over business enterprises – some ten TRILLION Dollars of influence. BlackRock (like other financial entities) is “Woke” and it wishes to destroy the non “Woke” – it is not really interested in making goods and selling them to customers, it is a political entity (as the other controllers of the economy are). It is not much different here in the United Kingdom – vast corporations here (Corporate managers here) are deeply involved with “Diversity” and “Climate Justice” and “Sustainable Development” and they are fully on board with the doctrine that dissent, dissenters, must-be-destroyed.

    As for Social Media companies – they were exposed as working in partnership with American government agencies (and international governance bodies) years ago.

    One can not describe this economy as in any way a free market economy – it does not even pretend to be one, the vast corporations openly say that they work in partnership (“stakeholder capitalism” and all that – the Corporate State of public-private partnership) with both national and international governance bodies.

    To break new ground…..

    I think that as late as the 1980s liberty in the West was still “running on fumes” (as it were) – the economy, even then, was nothing like a free market economy (it had been moving away from a free market for a century – for a hundred years, even then), by the 1980s it was already dominated by Credit Money (the last fig leaf link with a physical commodity had gone in 1971 – other than in Switzerland which was to keep the fig leaf till the 1990s) and most shares were already controlled by entities – rather than individuals. In Britain that had been true since 1965.

    But, perhaps because of the Cold War against the Marxists, some ghost of a belief in freedom – including Freedom of Speech remained.

    Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were light years from perfect (there are no perfect people)_- but they did have a basic belief in liberty, a sense of what “The West” was – even such people as the Director of the CIA (William Casey – who died in 1987) had a cause (they really did) they sincerely believed that they (in spite of there very many real faults) were fighting for liberty against Marxism – they were not the world “governance” totalitarians they are today.

    In spite of the state being on the rise since at least the 1870s I would say that it was as late as 1991 (yes as late as that) that international governments, including the British and American governments, really gave up on both national independence and individual liberty.

    Such things as “legally nonbinding” (pause for mocking laughter) Agenda 21 started (just started – it was very gradual at first) to make the international “governance” agenda clear.

    That agenda can be summed up in one word – liberticide.

    And it is liberticide that the Credit Bubble banks, other financial entities, and vast corporations are committed to – just as the various national and international governance bodies are committed to liberticide.

    After all both Corporate Managers and high Officials are “educated” people – taught the same doctrines at school and university, and if they expressed opposition to these doctrines, they would not advance in their corporate or government bureaucracies.

    Many 19th century thinkers assumed that if sound money (commodity money), honest finance (the lending out of Real Savings – rather than Credit Bubbles) and individual ownership (rather than control of most business by pension funds and so on – hired managers under the “ownership” of other hired managers) went then so would civil liberties fall – and so it has proved.

    But it did take a long time – a very long time.

    I say again, even though the basic structure of the economy was already fundamentally unsound in the 1980s (and had been for a long time – even back then) – there was still a ghost of liberty even in government and corporate circles, liberty was “running on fumes” (on cultural memory – perhaps prolonged by the Cold War against the Marxists) back then.

    And now the fumes seem to have run out.

  • Paul Marks.

    In short….

    There is no contradiction between Patrick denouncing what is happening, not just to Nigel Farage but to an increasing number of dissenters (which such things as people finding that they can not pay for goods in a shop – because their bank or payment processor has cancelled their account, because they, the ordinary people, are not pro “Trans Sexual”) and support for a free market economy.

    There is no contradiction because there is no free market economy.

    Certainly not on the internet – where such companies as Google and Microsoft have worked in “partnership” with government agencies for years.

    One way or another they will get rid of Twitter – now that Mr Musk has bought it and allowed some freedom of speech.

    And they will also track down dissenters – and make sure they lose their jobs, or (if they have their own small business enterprises) that those small business enterprises are destroyed.

    If you want to see the future (not a good idea) then look at the smirking face of the smug totalitarian Governor Gavin Newsom of California. He is the embodiment of “public-private partnership” the international Corporate State.

  • Paul Marks.

    Jon Eds – when Conservatives do stand up against the censorship and the general liberticide campaign, they get betrayed, stabbed-in-the-back.

  • It is nakedly political, wilful naivety to think otherwise. Someone at Coutts was told to do this (probably not hard to know who but I’m not looking to get sued).

    No, this isn’t a case of hoist on our own petard. If there was meaningful competition amongst banks, rather than a state approved cartel, that might be true. But it is a state approved cartel, so to pretend this is just the free market doing its thing is laughable.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I know the CEO of Coutts. I might ask him about this.

    It was famously the bank that held an account for the late Queen. Its parent bank is NatWest, which is now very “woke”. So I suspect Farage got on the shitlist of the equivalent of a “sensitivity reader” at a publishing house.

  • Dave Ward

    “One way or another they will get rid of Twitter”

    Today I discovered that it’s no longer possible to view Twitter without having an account. I also saw that President Macron is blaming social meeja for the riots in France. A coincidence? I suspect not…

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    There was also the allegation – denied by Farage – and made by Chris Bryant in parliament (therefore free of the risk of libel) that Farage received a sum of money from Russian-backed media. Farage, in a social media broadcast about this, goes into the detail of what he is going to do about these claims. Farage also thinks it is possible that he got designated what is called a Politically Exposed Person.

    Banks have to be careful in the reasons they give for not taking business from a customer. For instance, if Coutts says “you are just too hot to handle these days and these allegations are a problem”, he could sue them for defaming his character. A chap who was a donor to the Tory Party had his account at Barclays shut a few years ago. In that case, the bank was reportedly reviewing its anti-money laundering controls.

    An issue is that in this environment, a bank only has to smell potential trouble, rather than have solid proof, to let a client go. And there is not much that can be done about it. It is a bit like someone being put on a “no-fly” list without explanation.

  • TomJ

    Hang oon, I’ve got 2 regular savings accts with the Ecology BS; did it get shut down and no-one told me?

  • bobby b

    Had they been a bit more cunning, they wouldn’t start nudging heretics out of the banking system until after they’d convinced us that cash is unnecessary, that CBDC’s are the way of the future.

    They’ve now supplied a concrete, outrageous example of the power that leaving cash would give to them. They’ve published their long goal loudly. In doing so, they’ve made their ultimate target less reachable.

    Buy gold, for your store of wealth. Buy ammunition, for its small-currency uses.

    Or defeat them and retain a system that has worked – neutrally – for everyone.

  • Fraser Orr

    A few years ago I was opening a savings account with Ally bank, which is supposedly this new cutting edge e-bank with no branches. They explained to me I could do six transactions a month on this savings account and earn a paltry interest rate in return. So I asked the guy — how come EVERY bank limits savings accounts to EXACTLY six transactions. He explained that that number was set by the Fed. Our free market banking system is so free market that the central government regulates the rules down the the most minute details of how an account should work.

    A few years ago I bought a new house and got a mortgage at a ridiculously low interest rate. (Here in the US most people negotiate the interest rate at the start of the mortgage and it is fixed for the life of the mortgage. Those variable rate mortgages for the average retail consumer seem totally insane to me.) Nonetheless as I was going through the process I was amazed by how much the government was involved. Then the bank guy explained to me that the bank only manages the mortgage, they don’t make the loan at all. In fact the large majority of private residential mortgages in the United States are held by the government through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Literally, the US mortgage system is a huge socialist monster.

    I wonder in what possible respect this can be called a “free market” banking system. It is really just socialism wearing a dress. Shall we call it tyranny that identifies as free market. Trans-capitalism perhaps?

  • JohnK


    That is the dirty little secret of the US mortgage system: it is, to all intents and purposes, nationalised. The Feds own the housing market. An absurd proposition for the Land of the Free. Can anyone still sing those words with a straight face?

  • Steven R

    I’m the representative payee on my dad’s Social Security account. I went to set up his account at Chase Bank and the banker told me I couldn’t do any of his banking online and when I asked why, I was told it was a Social Security requirement. A few days later I was at the SSA office dropping off some paperwork and asked about that and the SSA agent told me that SSA had absolutely nothing to do with that decision at all, that it was entirely Chase’s policy. So the next time I was at that branch I asked the banker why he told me it was a SSA policy but SSA is saying it’s Chase’s decision. She then, and only then, said it’s actually Chase’s policy because not letting the Rep. Payee do anything on line is somehow supposed to help the Rep. Payee and makes it all more secure.

    When it all comes to a head, bankers might not be at the head of the line to face the wall, but they won’t have to wait a long time for their turn.

  • Martin

    Just as ‘actually existing socialism’ was awful, ‘actually existing capitalism’ is becoming terrible as well.

    I just read Farage’s Telegraph article in full and his point towards the end that the privatisation of the post office means there is no longer effectively an entitlement to have a bank account now is sobering. It shouldn’t be this way but without a bank account you’re effectively a non-person.

  • Hang oon, I’ve got 2 regular savings accts with the Ecology BS; did it get shut down and no-one told me?

    Shitty savings rates. Try Principality BS.

    privatisation of the post office means there is no longer effectively an entitlement to have a bank account now is sobering.

    I’m not sure that’s true though. When I returned to the UK in 2015 after several years abroad, opening a new bank account was proving to be a pain in the bum (can’t match credit history in foreign), but I was able to open up a “Basic Bank Account” which was (and I presume still is) a government mandated thing to prevent people being left without banking.

    It allows Direct Debits / Standing Orders and ePayments, but you can’t have an overdraft and management charges aren’t allowed, so that situation where you overstep your account by 1p and they write you a letter telling you to get your shit together and charge you £30 for the privilege isn’t allowed.

    Quite useful actually, but only for personal accounts, not corporate ones like Nigel Farage is talking about.


  • Martin

    Thanks John. That’s slightly reassuring, I’d fortunately not been in that position. I’d prefer we didn’t have to need government mandates but then I wouldn’t necessarily want to start from where we are at now.

  • @Martin – The “Basic Bank Account” thing isn’t a response to Nigel Farage’s problem, rather it is a response to bank’s reluctance to maintain fee-free accounts for customers who weren’t otherwise profitable (like those on welfare or state pensions).

    As others have said, if banking were completely free-market entities I could understand their objection to opening accounts for unprofitable people, but since they are effectively a government regulated cartel…tough titty.

    The banks also didn’t want to give up their 10 days to clear a balance, until the government forced them to do same day clearing for free. They didn’t like that either.

    I don’t like state intervention, but in the case of something as necessary as a bank account, banks alone cannot have the final say, simply because they’ve proven themselves biased in the past and they simply cannot be trusted to govern their own affairs with impartiality and neutrality (despite this being a claim of old banks).

  • Martin

    John, agreed on every point you made.

  • TomJ

    Shitty savings rates. Try Principality BS.

    I have a couple of regular savers with the EcoBS & only have ’em as a means of direct debiting to myself, to meet other accounts’ requirements.

    I’ve got the FD regular saver at 7% on £3000m, both Lloyds (6.25% on £400pm and 5.5% on £250pm), the YBS Xmas ’23 RS (5 going to 5.5% next week on £300 pm) and the Nationwide Start to Save (5% on £50 pm, but won the £250 draw in Feb).

    I also got in on the Newcastle BS Base Rate Tracker Easy Access in the 3 days it was available (4.3%, guaranteed to move within 5 days of a BoE base rate change).

    I’m alright for interest, I think.

  • Paul Marks.

    It is not just Mr Farage – although what was said about him was a pack of lies.

    The eventual target is anyone who dissents – anyone.

    This is an international agenda built into the financial system – the Credit Money system, via ESG (Environmental and Social Governance), DEI-EDI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion – but of which really mean Uniformity, Injustice and Exclusion) and-so-on.

    People can pretend that it is just a bad bloke at X bank if they like – but that will not alter the fact that this is an international agenda to eliminate dissent.

    Of course the establishment are not all Marxists – some of them are closer to Henri Saint-Simon (French Collectivist of some two centuries) in their opinions – and many, perhaps most, of the establishment have no real opinions (beliefs) and are just following the system (the monetary and financial system) without any idea of where it is leading.

    But it does not really matter, as the system is leading to tyranny – essentially it is automatic now.

    Some thinkers in the past understand that such a Credit Money system was bound to lead to tyranny (a lot of “Reflections on the Revolution in France”, 1790, is NOT about the Queen of France it is about how tyranny is inevitable if money is just about the whims of the government and the institutionally corrupt bankers and other scammers) – I suppose the question that would be asked by thinkers of the 18th and 19th centuries would be “how did it take so long?” – how did it take so long for tyranny to arrive.

    An economic system, a monetary and financial system, like this, is perfect for tyranny (the economy is concentrated under a few entities and “money” is mostly just lights on computer screens – which can be manipulated on the whims of the powerful) – of course it is going to be used to establish tyranny.

  • Just checked Paul and the guillotine still works. Cleaned and oiled waiting for is it’s first customer of the modern age.

    That’s why tyranny is never an eternal or even long lasting state, because it is profoundly against human nature.

    Sure, the elites think that their bullshit can keep them in power and “This time it’ll be different”. They always think that and they always get proven wrong to the sound of screams and bloodshed.

    This time won’t be any different from the last time or the time before that or the time before that…

  • Paul Marks.

    Dave Ward – yes Twitter is under attack.

    It is considered a clear-and-present danger to the rigging of the 2024 American Presidential election.

    How can one rig an elections (with the Wall Street Journal sneering at anyone who complains) if vast numbers of people are communicating on Twitter than the election is being rigged.

    So Twitter either has to go – or Mr Musk has to be brought back in line.

    After all the international; Bubble Economy (Wall Street – and so on) is at stake.

    The political power of the international establishment depends on their economic power.

    A group of very poor people meeting in various conferences would not be very important.

    They are powerful because they control banks, vast corporations, and government, and quasi government, agencies.

    Otherwise who would care what Bill Gates (a college drop out – who was given a sweet heart deal with IBM because of his family connections) and the rest of them said about “Public Health”, “Climate Change”, or anything else.

    A classic example is George Soros – I know the man is dying, but the truth has to be told. And the truth is that he is not a great thinker or even a good writer (yes I have read his works), so why did anyone take any notice of Mr Soros?

    Because Mr Soros had lots of money and was willing to use that money to push his (wildly misguided) ideas – that is why people took notice of him and what he said.

    Did Mr Soros make lots of money by building really good products that people wanted to buy? Of course not – he made his money manipulating the Credit Money (Credit Bubble) system.

    Mr Soros did NOT make that system – he just manipulated the system he found (which he did not create).

    It is a system that is corrupt its very structure (its monetary and financial structure)_- if Mr Soros did not manipulate it, someone else would.

    The same for the rest of them =- they did not create this mess-of-a-system – they just manipulated a system that is perfect for manipulation.

    A system they did not create – but just found in front of them.

    Even that power mad lunatic Dr Schwab did NOT actually create the Credit Bubble economic system – he is just taking advantage of economic power being concentrated into a few hands by it.

    Someone was bound to do so – so “why not me?”

  • Colli

    That’s why tyranny is never an eternal or even long lasting state, because it is profoundly against human nature.

    Sadly, Mr. Galt, I have a more pessimistic view. It seems to me that tyranny is inextricably linked with human nature. I suppose it is because many people want to be told what to do.

    Remember that the guillotine you mention was used to overthrow a tyranny, but only to install a new one.

  • Martin

    Remember that the guillotine you mention was used to overthrow a tyranny, but only to install a new one.

    It’s worse. Louis XVI wasn’t a tyrant. Those that overthrew him were tyrants.

  • Paul Marks.

    Martin – correct.

    Louis XVI was a well meaning, but sadly very weak, man.

  • David Norman

    Isn’t the point John Galt is making that the tyranny of the revolution eventually ended because the people got fed up with those tyrannising them?