Article Published in The Telegraph, November 2023
The term “debanking” has been listed as one of HarperCollins’ English Dictionary’s words of the year after a cancelculture within the UK banking industry was exposed by The Telegraph.
The word acquired currency after NatWest Banking Group subsidiary Coutts closed the bank account of Nigel Farage because they felt the former UKIP-leader’s views on Net Zero, mass migration, LGBTQ+ rights and Brexit “do not align with our values” and were “at odds” with its position “as an inclusive organisation”.
Also this year, former Brexit Party MEP Henrik Overgaard Nielsen was informed his account with MetroBank would be terminated, while Baroness Claire Fox – a former Brexit Party MEP – also revealed that she had suffered the same experience, and suspected political motivation.
Elsewhere in the sector, Barclays Bank was recently forced to pay over £20,000 compensation to the Christian organisation Core Issues Trust after it closed its accounts due to pressure from LGBTQ+ groups.
Back in July, Rev Richard Fothergill, a Church of England vicar and member of the FSU, was told by the Yorkshire Building Society that it would be closing his account after he responded to a request for feedback to complain about the bank’s promotion of Pride and what he considered a morally suspect trans agenda.
The scandal provoked an outcry over politicised “debanking” of individuals over their views. Now debanking has become a part of the English language with its own dictionary entry, as well as being named as one of the words of the year by the publisher HarperCollins.
The new entry in the Collins English Dictionary will read: “Debanking, noun, the act of depriving a person of banking facilities.”