“It is absolutely outrageous!” Tice fumes as Reform Party bank account shut down

Reform Party leader Richard Tice has accused Metro Bank of basing its commercial decisions on politics after the party was informed last month that its bank account had been shut down.

Formerly known as the Brexit Party which stormed to victory in the European elections in 2019 under Nigel Farage, the party has since rebranded to Reform UK which has pledged to advocate for economic, social and political change.

The party however will have considerable difficulty in operating after it received a letter from Metro Bank informing party officials that its business account will be shut down as it is “no longer commercially viable”.

“We are fifth in the polls. It’s not like we’re some extremist zealots,” Tice fumed. “We got 300,000 votes in the May elections.

“If we believe that we’re a proper functioning democracy then new disrupters need to be able to operate. You can’t operate if you don’t have a bank account that you can pay bills with,” he added.

“They’re a private business, they can do what they want. But it’s pretty grim. 

“Millions of pounds passes through that account. Give or take, about £750,000 of party expenditure has probably gone through the account over the last seven to nine months so the idea it’s not a commercially viable account… I should think they’ve got tens of thousands of accounts that have seen less activity than our account.”

Tice went further to accuse the bank of making decisions “based on politics” and choosing the easy option by disassociating itself with the fledgling party.

“My hunch is this is a decision based on politics and the difficulty for banks of being involved with politically exposed persons and political parties. 

“In a way I sort of have sympathy with them. The compliance is too difficult. It’s so much easier to tick the box and say it’s not a politically exposed person and ‘no problem, I don’t have to think about it.”

A Metro Bank spokesman hit back, insisting it did not involved itself with politics and the decision was purely a commercial one.

“We regularly review our customer accounts and close those which are no longer commercially viable. The decision to close the Brexit Party account was made for commercial reasons only. Metro Bank is and will remain politically neutral,” the bank claimed in response.