Bank accounts for RT News in the UK have been arbitrarily closed.
The Russian-owned news organization reported its banking troubles on Monday. NatWest, the bank (formerly) used by RT, informed them that their accounts would be closed, and that “The decision is not subject to review.” RT frequently posts news from a critical perspective of the United States and the Western powers.
RT announced the grim news via Twitter:
BREAKING: RT bank accounts blocked in UK – editor-in-chief https://t.co/4uO5Yksm9s— RT (@RT_com) October 17, 2016
Controversial companies can face difficulties with banking
RT’s recent troubles in the UK are not that rare for organizations involved in potentially controversial activities. Over the past two years, six mln accounts have been refused in the UK alone. Even a less controversial business is not immune, as demonstrated by Tavex, Sweden’s largest dealer of gold and silver, having its bank accounts arbitrarily closed earlier this year.
Bank account closure is becoming increasingly common, particularly in Europe. In Greece alone, 500,000 bank accounts, worth an estimated 1.6 bln euros, were seized by tax authorities in the first half of 2016 in a marked increase over previous years.
Bitcoin is not subject to arbitrary closure
Unlike using traditional banking services, Bitcoin cannot be centrally shut down, making it a much more viable payment solution for any organization which may be involved in controversial or high-risk behaviour. Whereas, any attempt to stop Bitcoin from being used would require a hack or theft by obtaining access to the user’s private keys, with a bank any account can be arbitrarily closed at any time for any reason, in particular pressure from governments.
In addition to the risk of seizure, trusting in central banking is becoming an increasingly risky proposition. EU banks, particularly in Italy, might soon require a massive bailout, and Germany, having learned from 2008’s lessons, is not keen on repeating those mistakes, particularly expressing a reluctance to bail out Deutsche Bank. Central bankers for some of the world’s leading economies have also expressed an inability to help the economy, and have petitioned governments for additional assistance. To make matters worse, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has predicted upcoming hyperinflation, urging the US to return to the gold standard. Perhaps the hour is ripe to switch to digital gold instead.