West Bank: Bank Services

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 3rd July 2015.

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Photo of Carolyn Harris Carolyn Harris Labour, Swansea East

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what guidance he gives to banks on the legality of conducting business with illegal settlements in the West Bank.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The Government has placed advice online to raise awareness of the key security and political risks which UK businesses may face when operating abroad, including in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs).

This includes guidance on Israeli settlements. We are advising British businesses to bear in mind the Government's view on the illegality of settlements under international law when considering their investments and activities in the region.

When approached by businesses, we set out the UK’s clear position on Israeli settlements, and share with them our online guidance. This is voluntary guidance to British businesses on doing business in Israel and OPTs. Ultimately, it is the decision of an individual or company whether to operate in settlements in the Occupied Territories, but the Government neither encourages nor offers support to such activity.

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