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UBS closes Islamic Relief account over terror risk

November 9, 2012

The U.K. based Muslim charity Islamic Relief has had its account closed and zakat donations to its account blocked by Swiss bank UBS due to counter-terror concerns.  Islamic Relief is the world’s largest Islamic non-governmental organization, and Israel has previously accused it of funding Hamas.

UBS’s action is similar to the decision made by Minnesota banks to cease remittance services to Somalia.  The risk that such transactions will be used for terrorism is simply too great a risk for the banks to bear.

Bravo to UBS for its gutsy and sensible move.  No doubt European financial regulators will attempt to investigate and excoriate UBS for the action…

Banking sector nerves blocking international relief, says Islamic Relief FD

Niki May Young| 8 Nov 2012

Islamic Relief has recently had its bank account closed by UBS, and is under constant scrutiny by other banks due to nervousness about counter-terrorist regulations, the charity’s director of finance told an audience of international charity regulators yesterday.

Islamic Relief, a charity launched in the UK 30 years ago with an income now over £80m annually, has both incoming and outgoing transactions stopped on a daily basis either temporarily or permanently, said Haroun Atallah, who is a former auditor…

Islamic Relief blames the closure on double standards on charities working in the Middle East and over-zealous implementation of financial regulations by the banks.  If Islamic Relief wants somebody to blame for this situation, it should first blame itself for working with Hamas and affiliating itself with Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

Do read the rest at at Civil Society please.  This is major news.

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8 comments

  1. [...] This text is based on two articles first published in English by GMBDR and MoneyJihad. [...]


  2. [...] several pro-Hamas charities in Britain; Islamic Relief, whose bank account with UBS was recently closed due to terror finance concerns; and the Ummah Welfare Trust, whose bank account with Barclay’s was closed in 2009 [...]


  3. [...] Islamic Relief is the most important Muslim charity in the world. It is active in Gaza, a territory controlled by Hamas. In the past, Israel has accused it of financing Hamas (GMBDR – Money Jihad). [...]


  4. [...] The British-based Islamic Relief ran into trouble when UBS became fed up with the group and closed the Islamic charity’s Swiss bank account over fears that its money was funding [...]


  5. [...] À l’automne 2012, la banque suisse UBS a fermé le compte d’Islamic Relief basé en Grande-Bretagne et bloqué les dons de zakat qu’il reçoit de ses supporteurs par crainte de ramifications avec le terrorisme. Islamic Relief est le plus important organisme de bienfaisance islamique au monde. Il est actif à Gaza, territoire contrôlé par le HAMAS. Dans le passé, Israël l’a accusé de financer le HAMAS (GMBDR – Money Jihad). [...]


  6. [...] À l’automne 2012, la banque suisse UBS a fermé le compte d’Islamic Relief basé en Grande-Bretagne et bloqué les dons de zakat qu’il reçoit de ses supporteurs par crainte de ramifications avec le terrorisme. Islamic Relief est le plus important organisme de bienfaisance islamique au monde. Il est actif à Gaza, territoire contrôlé par le HAMAS. Dans le passé, Israël l’a accusé de financer le HAMAS (GMBDR – Money Jihad). [...]


  7. [...] In the fall of 2012, the Swiss bank UBS closed UK-based Islamic Relief’s account and blocked its donations for fear of being involved in the financing of terrorism. Islamic Relief is the most important Muslim charity in the world. It is active in Gaza, a territory controlled by HAMAS. In the past, Israel has accused it of financing HAMAS (GMBDR – Money Jihad). [...]


  8. […] their own risks and exposure to terrorist financing by closing their accounts (as UBS already did in 2012) with these […]



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