A BOLTON MP has backed calls to boycott a bank which closed the account of an Islamic aid charity.
Yasmin Qureshi, MP for Bolton South East, said she will also speak to ministers in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills about the Ummah Welfare Trust, which was cut off by HSBC after it said providing services for the charity was ‘outside its risk appetite’.
The organisation, based in St Helen’s Road, has provided medical supplies, support and aid to communities in Gaza, which has been the centre of intense fighting between Israel and militant group Hamas.
Ms Qureshi said it was unacceptable that HSBC should not give more explanation about the decision – and as a customer she will consider changing her bank.
She said: “When I met with representatives from the Ummah Trust they told me it was a complete surprise when they received the letter from HSBC.
“Because HSBC is in 18 countries across the world and it’s a global bank it’s the best bank to use, and there’s never been any problem.
“It seems it has deliberately picked on the trust because it is doing a lot of work in Gaza at the moment.
“A similar situation happened in 2008 when again the trust was working in Gaza, during the last time there was a big almighty onslaught from Israel.
“HSBC has given no reason, no explanation, no nothing. I support the boycott, and I think I’m going to have to reconsider my own situation as a customer at HSBC.”
A spokesman for HSBC said there was nothing to add to its previous statement.
He reiterated that a decision to end a customer relationship is never taken lightly and is absolutely not based on race or religion.