A man faces bankruptcy after selling a hundred military vehicles to Ukraine.
Nick Mead, 61, runs a company, Tanks A Lot, which collects and restores tanks and armored cars and offers driving experience days for military enthusiasts on his farm in Northamptonshire.
But after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last February, he shifted the focus of his business to selling those vehicles to the government of the embattled country.
Through channels legally sanctioned by the Departments of Trade and Industry, Mead’s company supplied dozens of bulletproof and bombproof tanks to front-line troops.
However, Barclays has since classified Tanks A Lot as a “high risk” company.
Mead, who says he has been a customer of the bank for more than 40 years, subsequently closed his business, savings and online accounts.
The firm had reportedly done very well thanks to its Ukraine deal, with Mead’s turnover increasing to £8million last year.
Mead has been unable to continue supplies of military supplies to Ukraine and claims he faces bankruptcy because no other British bank will take his business.
He added that he is currently considering traveling to Singapore if it means opening a new account, insisting he is not profiting from the conflict.
Mead told The Sun: “It made me laugh to see all those politicians in Parliament applauding Volodymyr Zelenskyy after they agreed to send 14 Challenger tanks.
“I sent 100 vehicles to Ukraine last year, including tanks with guns, but a bank is putting me out of business.
“I’ve worked at Barclays for 40 years and I’ve never bounced a check, but they don’t even have the decency to explain their decision.
“I’ve been told I’m on a Russian hit list for the work I do and I’m willing to take the risk to help Ukraine defend itself. But banks are more concerned about the risk to their balance sheets.’
Vehicles Mead delivered to the Ukrainians before his accounts were frozen included: 35 Spartan armored personnel carriers, 25 armored Land Rovers, and six-wheeled Pinzgauer Vector utility vehicles.
Mead says a letter he received from Barclays’ Leicester branch informed him his account would be closed on February 20, but claims he didn’t go into detail about the reasons behind his decision concerning.
A Barclays spokeswoman told the newspaper: “Decisions to close customer accounts will only be made after very careful consideration and on the basis of all the facts available to us at the time.
‘We apply a higher level of due diligence to manage and mitigate risk, particularly where third parties are involved.’
This isn’t the first time Mead’s business has made headlines. In 2017 he bought an Iraqi Army tank on eBay and later discovered £2million worth of gold bars hidden inside.
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https://metro.co.uk/2023/02/12/uk-man-who-sells-tanks-to-ukraine-has-barclays-bank-account-shut-down-18268617/ A UK man selling tanks to Ukraine has closed his bank account at Barclays