A group of Iranian bank customers are taking court action against Royal Bank of Scotland for racial discrimination after being informed their accounts are to be closed.
Cheshire-based Blackstone Solicitors is representing nine customers who were written to last month by RBS to advise them their accounts would be closed in 60 days.
After Blackstone issued an injunction, RBS agreed voluntarily not to close the accounts until a determination by the court.
Blackstone managing director Emma Nawaz says the customers are “ordinary people” who have been selected for account closure on the basis of their race alone. She calls RBS’s actions “wholly unethical”.
Nawaz believes the bank’s actions are connected to a fine of $100m it received last month from US regulators for breaching sanctions with Iran, Burma, Cuba and Sudan.
Nawaz says: “These are ordinary people, including teachers and students. They are second generation families who should consider themselves wholly British and integrated into society.”
She says Blackstone has been contacted by other affected customers, and has made an application for a group litigation order.
A spokeswoman for RBS says: “We are required to comply with our regulatory obligations and are unable to comment on decisions made in relation to individual accounts.”