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Syrian refugee wins case against bank over account refusal

A Syrian refugee has won a case against a bank after they allegedly refused to allow him to open ...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

18.57 9 Apr 2019


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Syrian refugee wins case again...

Syrian refugee wins case against bank over account refusal

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

18.57 9 Apr 2019


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A Syrian refugee has won a case against a bank after they allegedly refused to allow him to open an account due to his nationality.

The man - who came to Ireland as part of the Refugee Protection Programme - brought the case to the Workplace Relations Commission after he tried to set up an account in 2017 when he got a job.

He was allegedly told by a member of staff that “we don’t open bank accounts for Syrians at the moment”.

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He took a case against the bank for allegedly breaching the Equal Status Acts 2000-2015.

At the WRC hearing, the bank said it has always accepted refugee travel documents as proof of identity.

The bank added that it updated its website to specifically refer to that fact after it became aware of the incident.

The WRC ordered the bank to pay the man €4,000 in compensation, and to engage with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Emily Logan, chief commissioner of the IHREC, said: "As a lawful resident of Ireland, this man had the right to open a bank account subject to the usual banking conditions, irrespective of his nationality.

"The Commission welcomes this outcome from the WRC following our legal support for his case. We will be engaging with the bank over the next six months to ensure that appropriate actions are taken."

Ms Logan added: "The Commission is aware that this is not an isolated incident and we are aware of other people who have experienced similar incidents, and we would ask all service providers to pay attention this outcome."

Main image: File photo of Workplace Relations Commission building. Photograph: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

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