As reported in GI in March, the Co-op Bank closed the bank accounts of the British Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) in November 2015, citing among the reasons a change in its “risk appetite” and “global regulations”.
Now, following a huge campaign by CSC members and affiliates, the bank’s Chief Executive Niall Booker has finally confirmed in writing that the closure was due to “risk” arising from the sanctions imposed on the island by the U.S. government.
Responding to direct questions from concerned CSC members, Booker stated “It is correct that the sanctions that are in place are those imposed by OFAC.”
As such, the bank has acknowledged the extraterritorial application of the blockade in closing the accounts. Obeying the sanctions imposed by the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is illegal under British and European Union law.