Lloyds TSB award returned in Interpal protest

Businessman hands back excellence award after bank froze Palestinian charity's accounts

A multimillionaire businessman has handed back an award given to him by Lloyds TSB bank in protest at the bank's decision to freeze the accounts of Palestinian charity Interpal.

Imraan Ladak, chairman of Kettering Town FC and 77th on the young person's Sunday Times Rich List, won an Asian Jewel award from Lloyds in 2007 for excellence in business.

But after Lloyds' moved earlier this month to shut down Interpal's account, Ladak said: "Lloyds TSB's plans can result only in escalating the horrific suffering of innocent children, supported by those with racially motivated agendas. I no longer trust that Lloyds TSB follows the equal opportunities and anti-racist principles the Asian Jewel awards are based upon."

As sponsors of the charity, Kettering Town football team wore shirts bearing Interpal's name in the team's FA Cup replay against Notts County last week, which was broadcast live.

Lloyds is one of the four clearing banks through which all UK banks must work. Last month it ordered the Islamic Bank of Britain to freeze Palestinian aid charity Interpal's account for an indefinite period, without any explanation. (Third Sector, 10 December).

A total of 16 MPs have signed an early day motion calling for government action on Lloyds TSB's decision, saying it could set a precedent allowing banks to target other charities.

Lloyds TSB declined to comment.

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