UK banks consider blocking financial accounts that fail to remove online child abuse

UK banks are considering shutting down financial accounts that do not remove online child abuse content. This complements the Online Safety Bill to combat such content.

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UK’s banks are considering shutting down the financial accounts of companies and individuals who don’t remove online child abuse from their platforms. The aim is to apply the same approach used when battling terrorists and mafia activities, as it is believed cutting finances would directly impact the number of crimes committed. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) explains, apart from the Online Safety Bill regulating the work of social media companies, that this action could play an immense role in tackling the commercial trade of child abuse content. 

Baker McKenzie’s global chair of the financial institutions industry group, Mr. Peddie, has recommended expanding the Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce (JMLIT) to include child sexual abuse material (CSAM). He further clarifies that he does not expect banks to establish new contractual terms but rather use existing procedures requiring customers to identify and remove CSAM when notified. If they do not adhere, banks can shut down their accounts.