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UK Parents Group Says PayPal Is Refusing To Provide Info On Debanking, Demands Probe By Regulators

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UK parent group UsForThem has come out with accusations against PayPal, claiming that the giant is not compliant with its legal obligations, specifically around transparency and its role in the scandalous “debanking” practice, the UK press is reporting.

And if the payments company is not ready to meet those obligations, say UsForThem – whose account had been shut down they believe for political reasons – then it should not be allowed to do business in their country.

At issue is the way in which PayPal handles account closures, and the respect or rather, as the group alleges, lack thereof of necessary transparency around this, and particularly where issues of free speech are involved.

The timing of the initiative is relevant as well, since post-Brexit, PayPal currently only operates in the UK under a temporary license. The US company hopes this will become permanent by the end of 2023 (the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) should confirm it) – but if UsForThem has anything to say about it, this will happen only if rules are fully respected.

UsForThem is a pandemic-era effort of parents to make sure UK’s schools remained open. That seems to have “earned” them the account closure last year on PayPal, and Toby Young’s Free Speech Union¬†fared the same.

But lucky for them, PayPal had gone too far that time, and after MPs expressed strong criticism, the accounts were reinstated.

As the deadline for getting a full permit is approaching, The Telegraph is reporting, PayPal has come under fire to also fully comply with the law of the land. Namely, when affected customers want banks to disclose internal communications related to their accounts, PayPal is said to have failed to provide this information.

UsForThem head of legal affairs Ben Kingsley confirmed the group was among those who have not received explanation as to why their account got closed, calls out PayPal’s refusal to comply with legal regulation – and wants the FCA to get involved.

According to Kingsley, just as PayPal “brazenly continues” to seek a permanent license from the same agency, the real demand should come from the FTC to make PayPay “justify its apparent breach of UK law and regulatory standards, and suspend its licensing application in the meantime.”

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