In another case of large corporates kowtowing to fringe interest groups which don’t represent the majority of Australians, The National Australia Bank (NAB) has been reviewing their relationships with the firearms businesses and decided they will be cancelling and closing the business banking accounts and credit facilities solely because they run government licenced, legally operated businesses. As one of Australia’s largest banks and beneficiaries of many special government banking protections at the cost to the tax payer, this has wide ranging impacts to those in the industry.
The latest example of this comes from a letter from the 29th of January this year, with NAB sending a Notice of Accounts and Services Closure letter to QLD dealer, Smiffy’s Guns n Ammo:
In the notice, NAB notes that they “regularly review the risks associated with providing banking services to customers involved in certain industries. As a result of these reviews, NAB as chosen to cease providing you with banking services”. This closure follows a spate of similar closures with other banks in Australia for those running businesses or having political views which don’t fit within the banks narrow agenda.
When GunHub has contacted NAB about this targeted closure of accounts, a NAB spokesman has replied that “When making decisions about the banking services we provide, NAB considers a number of factors including legislative requirements, our risk appetite and the materiality of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.”, inferring that providing business services to firearms dealers would fall under being a negative social issue.
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority notes that banks have the legal right to cancel any business or personal accounts for commercial reasons, so it is likely that there is limited if any legal recourse available to firearms businesses being targeted by these shutdowns.
In recent times we’ve seen similar discrimination to those in the firearms community in 2019 Bank of Queensland denying loans to firearms business owners because of policies which inferred they could be linked to crime. Only after pressure from the then Federal Agricultural Minister was this discriminatory policy removed.
With increasing pressure on this safe, legal family friendly community, shooters need to not remain silent in what is a hugely discriminatory practice. With over 800,000 legal firearms owners in Australia and growing, firearms owners make up one of the largest single interest groups. Ensure you’re representing your sport, hobby and the livelihood of many Australians by letting organisations such as NAB know how you feel about these discriminatory practices and if you’re with banks such as this, whether you want to consider looking at a more firearms supporting alternative.