ON THE MONEY
STUART THEOBALD: Should we have a right to a basic bank account?
Sekunjalo Group’s efforts to force banks to provide it with accounts raise an uncomfortable question
Amid Sekunjalo Group’s high-profile efforts to force banks to provide it with accounts, I want to pose an awkward conceptual question: should banks be forced to do business with companies they don’t want to? I think there are some narrow circumstances in which the answer is “yes”.
But let me be clear: banks’ shutting of accounts has been crucial to fighting state capture and corruption. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say the banking sector stopped the Guptas. It was only when banks closed their accounts that the wheels of state capture ground to a halt. Without bank accounts, it is very hard to steal money at any scale...
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