World Economy

RBS on Trial Over Iranian Accounts Case

RBS on Trial Over Iranian Accounts Case RBS on Trial Over Iranian Accounts Case

A small south Manchester law firm is taking on the might of financial giant Royal Bank of Scotland in a court case.

Blackstone Solicitors claims RBS has discriminated against people of Iranian heritage, whose bank accounts were closed, according to Business Desk.

The firm attracted national interest when it raised the issue in late 2013, and a case was scheduled to begin at the Manchester Civil Justice Centre in Manchester on Monday and due to last five days.

Emma Nawaz, founder and managing director of Blackstone Solicitors said: "The decision by RBS to close the bank accounts of customers connected to Iran (which predominantly is persons of Iranian race) is shocking and goes far beyond any reasonable interpretation of the sanctions rules.

The Iranian government has come under financial and economic sanctions by the UN, US, and EU in recent years over a nuclear dispute with the West.

Negotiations are underway between Tehran and six world powers, known as P5+1, to reach a long-term agreement on Iran’s nuclear energy activity.

“These are ordinary people who contribute to society and have become victims of racism by a high street bank simply for wanting to have a current account”.

Blackstone is claiming a breach of the Equality Act in the trial. The firm claims a nine-year-old girl was among those affected by the bank’s decision.

An RBS spokesman said: “We are required to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations and are unable to comment on specific customers or decisions made in relation to individual accounts”.

“However, we strongly refute any claims that we have made any such decisions in a discriminatory way. We confirm that we would never close a customer’s account based on their race and that any UK resident can apply to open an account with the bank.”