Scores of customers with “Slavic-sounding” names have sued over “Kafkaesque” mistreatment
There are 76 French citizens with Russian citizenship. “Slavic-sounding”Names filed complaints against banks in France alleging discrimination due to national origin.
People without any ties to Russia were unable to access their banks accounts and long-time residents were also caught up in the net that an attorney called “a trap”. “Kafkaesque,”Le Figaro, a newspaper reported.
Banks were forbidden from receiving deposits from Russian citizens of more than 100,000 euro under the EU embargo. This was done to curb corruption. “oligarchs”Moscow government, and the tycoons who are alleged to be close to it. Yet in their zeal to enforce the sanctions, the banks have frozen accounts of ordinary French residents over far smaller amounts, say the attorneys with Cartier-Meyniel-Schneller, the law firm representing the plaintiffs. Another discriminatory action was to decline loan applications or refuse to open bank accounts.
“We are not talking about the owners of yachts or villas on the Cote d’Azur,”Marie-Laure Cartier spoke to Le Figaro. She showed the complaint, which included students, doctors, shopkeepers, and others who had been subjected to enforcement.
Maria, 26, a 26-year old self-employed woman, was left with only 30 euros and had to borrow money to pay for food and rent. Natalia (anonymous) was informed by her bank her account had been blocked “due to your nationality in the current context,”Alexandre Meyniel said, “Banks have done.” “nothing”They will help their customers, despite being subject to official complaints.
According to the lawyers, all plaintiffs share one thing: Russian-sounding names. Evgueni Gallperine from France, an internationally acclaimed film music composer, is one of them.
“I was born in the Urals but I am a French citizen, having received political asylum at age 15,” Galperine told Le Figaro. “I have been with the same bank for 31 years and I’ve never had a problem.”Sacha, his brother, has lived in Paris ever since 1990. The bank told him in July that his accounts would be shut down by September.
“This is because I was born in Russia. I’m shocked. I realized that I am basically a ‘discount’ Frenchman,”Galperine stated. This discrimination, Galperine said, plays into Putin’s hands as a proof of Europe’s hatred for the Russians.
Lawyers said that the discrimination case was brought before a Paris court Monday. However, the amount of any monetary damages was not stated in the original filing. “all these plaintiffs will claim financial compensation from the banks”Cartier said to the French newspaper that if the complaints are successful, he would.