Lloyds TSB, Islamic Bank of Britain and Interpal

I received this rather worrying email, please read and act immediately. If you have a Lloyds TSB account call the complaints line and threaten to close your account, in fact, you should close your account anyway and never deal with them again…

From Ibrahim Hewitt – Chair of Interpal.

Dear Friends,

Assalamu Alaikum – Peace be upon you.

I am writing to you because we are faced by a totally unexpected crisis which has the potential to force us to cease operations early next month.

We received notification the day before yesterday from our bank, the Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), that Lloyds TSB (their clearing bank) have served notice on IBB to cease all dealings with Interpal. The notice comes into effect on 8 December 2008 (a nice Eid prsent!). After this time “all transactions into or out of Interpal accounts will be blocked and IBB will be at further risk of all its customer payments being suspended.” IBB has offered us its total support but is apparently powerless in this situation, throwing into question the autonomy of Britain’s burgeoning Islamic finance sector.

As you can imagine, this has the potential not only to damage Interpal but also to affect community relations (and cohesion) in Britain. The bank hasn’t even waited for the Charity Commission to publish its latest report on Interpal (the draft of which has been seen by us and, although the contents are confidential at the moment, suffice to say that we are reasonably satisfied – I’d ask you to keep that bit confidential, though).

No reason at all is given for this draconian and punitive measure, taken without any consideration of the thousands of contributors who have placed their faith in us to assist the needy of Palestine – and who want to continue to do so. Needless to say, it will be an administrative nightmare to transfer the thousands of standing orders that we have, etc.

By acting in this way, Lloyds TSB has treated IBB with contempt. Their action sends a signal to other Muslim charities – as well as the bank’s 50,000 Muslim account holders – that their accounts can be closed down without warning or explanation at any time.

It is, at very least, an example of the utter lack of respect faced by the Muslim community from some hostile quarters in this country.

Perhaps it should be pointed out to Lloyds TSB that Muslims are among the British taxpayers who have bailed out the bank after years of wasteful mismanagement!

Be that as it may – we are less than a month away from a potentially very difficult and testing situation. We are currently mobiling all the support we can to try to persuade the banks to rescind this decision – and hope and pray that we can look to you for guidance, advice and practical support at this critical time.

We are calling upon our friends and supporters, and all who stand for justice in the face of oppression to contact Lloyds-TSB and the Islamic Bank of Britain to ask them to rescind this outrageous, unfair and arbitrary decision. Your support in this will be much appreciated.

Islamic Bank of Britain plc,
Edgbaston House,
3, Duchess Place,
Hagley Road,
BIRMINGHAM,
B16 8NH.

gay.campbell@lloydstsb.co.uk or call: 020 7661 4778 and ask for? Gay Campbell

or write to all of the below (same letter copied):

Strictly Private and Confidential
Eric Daniels
Chief Executive Lloyds TSB Bank plc
25 Gresham Street
London EC2V 7HN

Ms Gay Campbell,
Lloyds TSB Bank plc,
1st Floor,
25, Gresham Street,
LONDON,
EC2V 7HN

Bulat Betalgiry,
Lloyds TSB Bank plc,
1st Floor,
25, Gresham Street,
LONDON,
EC2V 7HN
Tel: 020 7661 4778

Please be firm and polite, do not be abusive or irate, express your anger and annoyance appropriately.

PLEASE TELL YOUR FAMILY, FREINDS and COMMUNITY, especially account holders that you will not tolerate such behaviour. I think you should go and see your bank manager and tell him/her that you want to close your account and tell them why.

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4 thoughts on “Lloyds TSB, Islamic Bank of Britain and Interpal”

  1. I think this is basically a case of ?Islamic? Bank of Britain not bothering to support Interpal. After all, IBB is a customer of Lloyds TSB, so IBB is PAYING them to use their clearing services. And so IBB could easily say ?You can?t bully us. We?re just going to use another bank to do our clearing and pay the fees to someone else!?

    Lloyds TSB would quickly change their tune if IBB showed any courage in support of their Muslim brothers and sisters in Palestine, instead of threatening their Muslim brothers and acting as the lapdog of the Kafir bankers in such a cowardly way. It?s very clear that IBB probably have an ulterior motive for going along with Lloyds TSB?s request. They probably think Interpal is too much trouble for them. Or they are not making enough money out of Interpal. (That?s right – not making any money from the humanitarian charity that?s helping NEEDY Palestinians!!!)

    So while you?re complaining to Lloyds TSB about this (and you should be!) make sure you also complain to the ?Islamic? Bank of Britian, and tell them that if they are not prepared to support their own Muslim brothers and sisters in Palestine then we do not consider them to be ?sharia compliant? and we will be closing our accounts and telling every other Muslim we know to do the same thing. If you want the Ummah to support you then you need to show support to the Ummah in it?s times of need. If you turn your back on the Ummah (which is what IBB is doing) then the Ummah will turn its back on you.

  2. Winner of Lloyds TSB Asian Jewel for Business & Commerce to return award in protest at banks actions against UK charity

    By Tim Saunders, 10th December 2008

    (Please visit the link below to sign a petition requesting Lloyds TSB to stop denying humanitarian aid to 5 million Palestinian refugees and forward to people you know)

    http://www.petitiononline.com/FOSISPal/petition.html

    Kettering Town Chairman Imraan Ladak will return his 2007 Lloyds TSB Asian Jewel Award (awarded for the extraordinary growth of DRC Locums and Locumlinx) after learning that the bank, recently bailed out by billions of pounds of British taxpayers money, are on the verge of ending humanitarian aid for up to five million Palestinian refugees in desperate need, by cutting off the charity Interpal?s (who have raised over ?50m) banking facilities.

    The Kettering Chairman feels he has no choice as ?Lloyds TSB?s plans can only result in escalating the horrific suffering of innocent children, supported by those with racially motivated agendas. I no longer trust that Lloyds TSB follow the equal opportunities and anti-racist principles the Asian Jewel Awards are based upon. At Kettering Town, like the majority of British football clubs, we value success on and off the field equally. ?Off the field? includes supporting and promoting humanitarian causes and dozens of charities and we won?t change these principles, even for a Goliath like Lloyds TSB.?

    This evening, Kettering Town (leading scorers in the history of the FA Cup and first club to ever have a shirt sponsor) will continue their quest for FA Cup glory, wearing their Interpal shirts live on Setanta Sports, having displayed the Wateraid and Interpal charities instead of corporate sponsors regularly since July 2007. Gianfranco Zola, Les Ferdinand and Christian Karembeu are some of the legendary footballers that have played for Kettering Town in the charities shirts.

    As most are aware, the beleaguered Palestinians have been the victims of ethnic cleansing and sixty years of human rights violations – condemned by 69 United Nations resolutions and almost every country in the world, resulting in a humanitarian crisis of catastrophic proportions. This slow genocide, described by former US President Jimmy Carter as ?one the the greatest human rights crimes on earth? and the great Nelson Mandela as ?apartheid? is solely because they were born Palestinian. However, the success of Interpal?s humanitarian efforts is at odds with the racially motivated aspirations of those behind the suffering who have made unsupported and damaging allegations against Interpal, with the sanction of the George Bush regime.

    The UK Government and Charities commission on each occasion have investigated these allegations and found them to be without merit. Following a two year legal challenge, the Board of Deputies were forced into a substantial out of court settlement and a humiliating apology after having repeated such allegations

    When Kettering Town agreed to display Interpal on its playing shirts, they received the congratulations and letters of support from several MP?s within the Labour Party, Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats.

    In November 2008, it was reported that Lloyds TSB ? the bank that had just received billions in aid from the taxpayer ? were trying to stop Interpal from trading.

    Kettering Town FC immediately contacted Lloyds TSB to ascertain why a charity, supported by the UK government and it?s main opposition parties, the United Nations and the UK Charities commission was under threat. Lloyds wrote back:

    ?Lloyds TSB does not hold or never has held accounts for Interpal. Furthermore, Lloyds TSB would not direct nor would it be appropriate for us to direct another institution on how to deal with its own customers.?

    However Kettering Town FC are now in possession of a letter from Lloyds TSB (acting as a clearing bank) to IBB (with whom Interpal bank), dated 8th October 2008 which states:

    ?We are writing to you to give you notice that, from the date falling on the sixtieth calendar day following the date of this letter?..(Eid ? the festival somewhat akin to Christmas)..?we do not wish you to transfer, receive, process or in any way deal with any funds, or in any way whatsoever (acting either as banker or agent on behalf of the Customer) be involved with any type of banking arrangements for Interpal??

    This letter clearly indicates that the information Lloyds TSB provided Kettering Town FC was inaccurate at best, downright misleading at worst.

    Kettering [Town] have since written to the Lloyds TSB Chairman Sir Victor Blank, who was a Chair of UJS Hillel, a member of ?Labour friends of Israel? and a Governor of Tel Aviv University (which sits on a site where scores of innocent Palestinian women and children once lived before their homes were bulldozed). Alas, it appeared Sir Victor Blank was too busy planning the Lloyds TSB/HBOS merger to reply to little old Kettering Town FC?s interest in starving children.

    Kettering then wrote to Sir David Manning GCMG CVO who only joined the Lloyds TSB board in May 2008, having previously been an ambassador to Israel, sure that a newly appointed board member would have the time to explain why Lloyds TSB were trying to stop aid to the most desperate of people. To date they have had no response.

    However Kettering Town FC have received renewed statements of support from MP?s who are trying to lobby our Prime Minister Gordon Brown to ask his good friend Sir Victor Blank to reverse this sickening act by Lloyds TSB.

    We trust the Prime Minister will ensure race does not determine if banks process charitable donations.

    Selected letters of support:

    “I have seen for myself the excellent work that Interpal does funding hospitals, health clinics, nurseries, schools and orphanages in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. Because of the current conflict and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Palestine, the work of charities like Interpal is even more essential. As a reputable charity, audited by the Charity Commission, I know that every pound given to Interpal will help to improve the lives of children, women and families in Palestine and I commend this excellent initiative by Kettering Town FC.”

    Dr Phyllis Starkey
    Labour Member of Parliament
    Milton Keynes South West

    “As a member of the International Development Committee I have seen at first hand some of the excellent projects that help improve water and sanitation services in Africa and elsewhere. Anybody who works on development issues in the Middle East also knows that millions of Palestinians face appalling levels of poverty and deprivation – whether they are cut off from the outside world in Gaza, in the occupied West Bank or in refugee camps in other parts of the region. That is why the work of groups like Interpal is so important. I congratulate Kettering Town FC for supporting the valuable work done by both of these charities.”

    Richard Burden
    Labour MP
    Birmingham Northfield

    i>”?I am writing to say that I applaud your initiative in raising funds for Water Aid and Interpal.
    I know that Water Aid is active with regard to water provision in Africa and Asia, whilst Interpal is providing humanitarian aid to the displaced Palestinian people. Whatever one?s views of the situation in the Middle East, it must be right that peoples of all nationalities and persuasions have access to clean water, sanitation and other basic facilities and this is no less true for Palestinians in refugee camps as it is for Israeli people living in new settlements.
    So, as Kettering?s local MP, I am very happy to support Kettering Town Football Club in encouraging charitable donations via Interpal and I very hope that as much of the money raised as possible goes to help people in desperate need.”

    Philip Hollobone
    Conservative MP
    Member of Parliament for the Kettering Constituency
    House of Commons

    ?I am delighted to learn of the sponsorship for Interpal and can I wish Kettering Town every success for the new season?

    Colin Breed
    Liberal Democrat MP for South East Cornwall

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