Grant Shapps struggles to open bank account as a ‘politically exposed person’

Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps revealed how his whole family has faced problems trying to secure a bank account.

The Cabinet minister said he was asked to provide 18 years of payslips when applying to one lender.

Along with his wife, Mr Shapps said his brother, sister and children have also struggled because he is classed as a “politically exposed person” (PEP).

Mr Shapps accused banks of having “gone too far with this”.

“Every single member of my family – my wife, my brother and my sister. All different banks,” he told the Sun on Sunday.

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“It is difficulty in getting an account. My 19 year-old son, he’s just been sent an enormous letter, an enormous list of things that HSBC wants him to provide, which is as long as your arm and completely unreasonable…

“HSBC – the bank he has been with since he was a little kid – had asked him for a list as long as his arm about you know, what’s the source of your wealth and what’s this, what’s that.”

“My oldest son is 22 and he was outright refused an account by one of the Challenger banks. It is mad.”

Mr Shapps said he has been asked to provide documents covering his entire time in parliament.

“When I applied for accounts – I was asked for 18 years of a P60s recently,” he said.

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“I said how am I meant to get 18 years of payslips? It was since I had started being an MP.”

Mr Shapps said that it was a problem faced by politicians and “anyone in public service” including former top civil servants.

The senior minister issued a warning to bank leaders, after the Government moved swiftly to introduce a number of reforms in the wake of Mr Farage’s high-profile campaign against Coutts and parent company NatWest.

Mr Farage has called for a culture change across the wider bank industry, as he continues to campaign on the issue.

“They’ve gone too far with this,” Mr Shapps said.

“They should get on with the job of being good at banking and not trying to second guess society. There are laws, there are politicians, there are courts.”

Mr Shapps is the latest politician to reveal he has been hit by banking problems.

As well as MPs and peers, military figures, diplomats, senior civil servants and councillors and their families are all at risk of being classed as PEPs.

Ex-Cabinet Minister Priti Patel backed calls for a Royal Commission inquiry into the de-banking scandal.

She told GB News: “I do. I don’t think this can be left to politicians or to Parliament anymore, I genuinely feel that way.

“These are banks that were too big to fail just over ten years ago and they’ve literally got to the state where they’ve been living off our money, taxpayers’ money.

“NatWest is still owned, 38 percent of it, by the state, so there are so many questions here. I don’t think the regulators can be trusted anymore.

“I think there are wider inquiries that are needed about the regulatory environment that we’ve had because, to be quite frank, I’m an MP, I’m a politician. This has just been rubber-stamped through Parliament year after year…”

HSBC declined to comment.

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