French bank closes account of BDS group



The logo of the French bank Credit Mutuel. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( A major French bank has shut down the account of a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement group on the grounds that it is illegal in France to support financial transactions of entities seeking to boycott Israel.

The Credit Mutuel bank shut down the account of La Campagne BDS France. Israeli journalist Jean Patrick Grumberg, who works for the French-language American website, told the Jerusalem Post, “BDS France used illegal ways to open its account and Credit Mutuel closed it.” Additionally, French Member of Parliament Meyer Habib said that French law “prohibits all forms of call for economic boycott.”

This aspect of French law, which was recently confirmed by France’s supreme civil court, applies to economic institutions such as banks. The bank reportedly closed the BDS group's account at the request of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions.

“We cannot give any information about accounts held or not by the clients of the Credit Mutuel,” Frédéric Monot, a spokesman for Credit Mutuel, told the Jerusalem Post when asked to comment on the BDS account's closure. “We do not disclose information covered by banking secrecy, but we strictly respect the application of French law.” 

Posted on May 19, 2016 .