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The Countryside Alliance has responded to claims that Klarna, a major global payments company, has cut off UK shooting and countryside sports retailers from its services. This incident arises as the shooting sector continues to be groundlessly targeted by financial institutions. Just two months ago, another financial services firm, SumUp, banned hunts from taking card payments at fundraising events.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Klarna has abruptly cancelled partnerships with numerous shooting-related businesses on the basis that their products infringe the company’s ethics policies. One business owner affected, Richard Stebbings, was told the air rifles and ammunition he sells in his sporting goods shop have dual-use purposes as ‘weapons’, which have illegitimate uses according to Klarna’s guidelines.
By effect, Klarna has wrongly demonised business owners and participants within the shooting sector as criminals. The firm seems to be ignorant to the fact that countryside sports are carefully regulated by UK lawmakers and that a police-issued certificate is required for both the purchase and sale of guns and ammunition – a certificate which depends upon the completion of criminal and medical background checks.
Mo Metcalf-Fisher, Director of External Affairs at the Countryside Alliance, said there was “no justification for refusing financial services to law-abiding businesses connected to the shooting sector.”
He added: “Klarna’s sudden, perplexing ‘computer says no’ style response to legitimate business owners within the sector is wholly inappropriate.
“We sincerely hope that Klarna swiftly familiarises itself with UK firearms law and reverses its divisive and unnecessary position immediately”.
Misinformed policies recurrently cause tangible harm to legitimate shooting businesses. A third of shooting businesses reported having their accounts suddenly closed down, including by major high street banks, such as HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds, and NatWest.