Banks urge UK to allow seizure of Russian assets without due process

UK banks want to seize Russian assets

A group of major banks has urged the UK government to allow them to seize the assets of Russian individuals and companies without due process, citing the need to protect their interests and deter corruption. The banks, which include HSBC, Barclays, and Lloyds, said that they were losing millions of pounds every year due to the legal challenges and delays involved in freezing and confiscating the assets of suspected Russian criminals and oligarchs. They argued that the UK should adopt a similar approach to the US, where the authorities can impose sanctions and seize assets without any judicial oversight or evidence.

The banks’ proposal was met with criticism and outrage by human rights groups, lawyers, and Russian officials, who denounced it as a violation of the rule of law and an act of aggression. They said that the banks were acting out of greed and prejudice, and that they were trying to exploit the tense relations between the UK and Russia. The opponents also warned that the proposal could backfire and trigger a retaliation from Russia, which could target the assets of British citizens and businesses in Russia.

The UK government has not yet responded to the banks’ proposal, but sources say that it is unlikely to be accepted, as it would require a radical change in the UK’s legal system and international obligations. However, some analysts say that the proposal could be used as a bargaining chip in the ongoing negotiations between the UK and Russia over various issues, such as trade, security, and human rights.