Gradually, the Chinese “social credit” system will be imported into the Western countries.
By Gavin Haynes, Unherd
Let’s call her Laura. In September, Laura was out in Leeds City Centre, buying some bits, when her card was declined. Funny, she thought. She definitely wasn’t in the red. But these things happen, so she left the shop, tinting crimson, and dashed towards the nearest cashpoint.
But her card wouldn’t work at the cashpoint either. She tried another one. With the same result.
Laura opened the banking app on her phone. It said only ‘error’, then automatically closed.
She finally abandoned her shopping and went into the nearest branch of Santander. There, the counter assistant seemed just as mystified. After about an hour of waiting, though, Laura was called through into the manager’s office.
“I’m going to read a statement out for you,” the manager said. “But I’m not going to be able to answer any of your questions after that.”
He read out:
“We have locked your bank account. We can’t give you any more information. We might be in touch in future with more information. But we don’t know when that might be.”
Could she have her money? No.
But how was she supposed to get home? After all, she lived eight miles outside of Leeds, and now she had no bus fare. Apparently, this was not the bank’s business.