Accountability needed on debanking scandal, BASC tells GB News

Conor O'Gorman on GB News

BASC has highlighted the lack of consistency around the ‘debanking’ of shoots and shooting businesses and called for accountability during a discussion with Nigel Farage on his GB News programme.

Dr Conor O’Gorman, BASC’s head of policy and campaigns, appeared live on the show last night and told Mr Farage that “what happened to you is exactly what happened to them”.

BASC research shows that over a third of shooting clubs, syndicates and trade organisations have experienced so-called debanking. This includes events such as the sudden closure of an account; with almost two thirds of respondents reporting difficulties opening a bank account.

“It’s the lack of empathy,” Dr O’Gorman said on the programme. “Hard-working people in the rural community have been building up these businesses for years and years and suddenly everything is shut down, they can’t find a new account – that’s devastating.”

Speaking after the programme, Dr O’Gorman said: “We are grateful to have been given the opportunity and platform to highlight the impact this scandal has had on shoots and shooting businesses and hope that in shining a spotlight on this issue, changes will be made.”

Following an exposé in The Telegraph into widespread ‘de-banking’ of the shooting community, BASC wrote to the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to provide evidence of sector-wide discrimination by many high street banks against shooting-related businesses for its de-banking review. 

BASC previously told the Economic Secretary to the Treasury that the disproportionate treatment of shooting businesses and the gun trade should feature in any review into bank account closures.

Watch the interview here.