Should a bank be able to close your accounts because it disagrees with your political views? That question exploded into Britain’s national debate thanks to right-winger Nigel Farage, after elite bank Coutts closed his accounts.

The conflagration has important lessons for SA, where the issue of banks’ rights to close accounts has been burbling through the courts and regulatory circles. It may even lead to change in the rules of the Financial Action Task Force, which in 2022 greylisted SA over enforcement of international money-laundering rules...

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