Britain’s biggest banks likened to ‘communist China’ after it is found their privacy policies allow them to monitor their customers’ behaviour on social media

73573141 12333563 The revelation came days after leading Brexiteer Nigel Farage di m 60 1690246082103


The UK’s biggest banks were likened to ‘communist China’ yesterday after it emerged their privacy policies allow them to monitor customers’ social media.

The four largest high street lenders – NatWest, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC and Barclays – have all refused to deny that they keep track of users’ activity.

The revelation came days after leading Brexiteer Nigel Farage disclosed an internal dossier from Coutts, in which staff justified his account closure by claiming his views ‘do not align’ with the bank’s values.

In a 13-page privacy notice, Coutts’ parent company NatWest says it may gather ‘information that you make public on social media’.

Lloyds, which also owns Halifax and Bank of Scotland, can also collect any information from ‘published media and social networks’, The Daily Telegraph reported.

HSBC’s privacy notice is able to monitor information ‘that relates to your social interactions, such as your communications via social media, between individuals, organisations, prospects’, while Barclays admits it can ‘collect information about you, such as from your actions on our social media pages or through the social media’.

Other major lenders – including Nationwide, Santander and Virgin Money – have also said they may check social media in special circumstances or ‘certain situations’.

Metro Bank, which Reform UK leader Richard Tice has accused of shutting down his account due to his pro-Brexit views, said it will ‘occasionally obtain [information] from publicly available sources, such as social media sites’.

Mr Farage said of the findings: ‘I don’t want to live in communist China, yet increasingly we are. The banks are out of control and need to be brought to heel. People will be horrified by this.’

Tory former minister Gareth Johnson added: ‘This smacks of a big brother approach from the banks. I cannot see what anybody’s social media activities have to do with their bank.

‘Too often the banking sector seems to have lost its way recently which should worry us all.’

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