Two years ago, BitChute became the target of an activist group that attempted to shut us down by pressuring our suppliers. As a result, we lost some server hosting, our office space, and other suppliers. We also lost our bank account with HSBC. A bank account we had held in good standing and without any issues since we launched in 2017.
We initially tried to open a new account with a different bank and transfer our money. However, the new bank rejected us just as the funds had reached them. Our money was returned to HSBC, but we could no longer access it, and even today, we still have not retrieved our money from HSBC.
In August 2021, after failing to get a resolution through the HSBC complaints process, we requested arbitration through the UK's banking Ombudsman. We were informed of a long wait due to Covid, which had resulted in many bank-related problems for businesses. It wouldn't be until November 2022 that our case would be assigned.
Since arbitration started we have provided many details including the bank account where HSBC could send our money. Within a week of handing over that information, that new bank account was suspended without notice. We informed the Ombudsman that we do not want to give HSBC additional bank accounts and prefer any transfer from HSBC use a third party such as escrow, even a bag of cash would do. A necessary action that will likely lengthen the process.
It's happening again...
That happened 19 days ago, and we still have not been able to get our money from that bank even though we have informed them that we need it urgently to pay bills. It's not clear for what reason they are keeping it.
Now, nearly at the end of 2022, two different banks have our money, HSBC has held it for almost two years.
BitChute is a politically neutral company that has a diverse community in interests and backgrounds. We require that users only upload legal content that complies with our terms and community guidelines, and we have a team of support staff that ensure that is the case.
BitChute is pro freedom of expression, a universal human right. Furthermore, censorship and deplatforming are poor ways to tackle societal problems as they merely create echo chambers that can lead to bigger problems in the long run. It is important to allow people to express all ideas as this exposes them to immediate opposition and allows for a public deconstruction of any flaws they may contain. If you are against bigotry or racism or hateful ideologies, you should be for freedom of expression.
In recent years financial institutions have been using "reputational risk" to stealthily engage in political discrimination. If a financial institution takes action against a lawful company for its commitment to freedom of expression, that should be a very real reputational and material risk for the financial institution.
The idea that people or companies can be excluded from the monetary system and have their assets frozen over an opinion or lawful actions is despicable. This discrimination must be wholeheartedly rejected if we are to keep free and open societies.
Please spread the word about the unfairness of this, and share this anywhere you can. Let content creators know this is a worthy topic for a video. If you would like to contact HSBC about this or for any reason you can find their contact details here: https://www.hsbc.co.uk/contact/
I wish you all and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and any other holiday you might celebrate.
Ray Vahey - BitChute Founder and Chief Executive