NEW YORK – One of Austria’s largest companies – the Erste Group – closed a bank account held by BDS Austria.
The Vienna-based BDS Austria announced on Friday on its website and Facebook pages: “Bank account of BDS Austria closed by bank as a result of political pressure... We therefore are obliged to cancel the account and until further notice will not have any bank account.”
The Jerusalem Post investigative series on the shadowy world of Israel-boycott funding and terrorism finance transactions revealed the Erste Group bank account with BDS Austria in late March. The BDS campaign targets the Jewish state with economic pressure to advance Palestinian interests.
Post queries on Saturday to the Erste Group in Vienna and its New York City office were not immediately returned. Christian Hromatka, a spokesman for Erste Group, told the Post in March, “Our internal security measures are suitable to employ the appropriate measures in the event of irregularities or legal problems.”
Michael Mauritz, a second spokesman for the Erste Group, told the Post, ”We are by law not allowed to comment on possible clients, but you can be sure that compliance is carefully observing the legal framework. If there is any legal action needed, Erste Group will act accordingly.”
This is the second instance in which a European BDS bank account was closed due to stepped up measures to stop illicit or unsavory transactions.