Now that Metrobank (a bank in the UK) has been purchased by Gilinski, a Jew and no Heter Iska has been arranged - has there been any discussions about what those with mortgages/savings etc. should do?
To clarify - I am not asking for myself as I have none of these, I am just wondering if any responsa have been written regarding this.

  • 2
    Perhaps it is better to make it completely a theoretical question, as a bank with majority ownership by a jew, as opposed to naming banks which makes it seem like asking for a practical ruling.
    – אילפא
    Mar 1 at 10:56
  • There's a kuntres that comes out Pesach/Sukkos time called Kol HaTorah - if anything gets published it'll be there
    – AKA
    Mar 3 at 6:07
  • Signs in shuls from the UoHC say one should not carry out any interest bearing transaction with Metro Bank. They continue that if one has a mortgage which is very difficult/costly to redeem early one should give them a call. I suspect they will be reluctant to publicise any heterim that exist.
    – AKA
    Mar 3 at 6:11
  • I remember hearing that since the "owner" of the bank doesn't actually own anything, it remains a "corporation" and thus no "human" is involved - hence no Ribis. Proof that Gilinski doesn't own the bank? Let him walk into any branch and try take home a few chairs for the weekend. He'll get arrested for theft. (I have no idea where I learnt this.) I also don't think he can waive people loans or even approve new loans. He is simply the biggest share-holder - without chairs ;-) Mar 6 at 10:44

2 Answers 2


Yes there is a great shiur about it here: https://www.torahway.co.uk/Search/Listen/12382

The Rabbonim in England are saying that savings and current accounts since they are working with MetroBank to try and arrange for a Heter Iska one does not need to take the money out (this is based on a Reb Moshe, I will source later).

However, mortgages and loans need to be moved out ASAP from the bank because that is Ribis Min Hatorah, and therefore assur.

  • 1
    I don't have ribis knowledge and maybe this is a dumb question, but I thought to be ribis min haTora it has to be agreed upon before the loan takes place; here the borrower never agreed to borrow from a Jew at all!
    – msh210
    Mar 7 at 6:56
  • @msh210 The issue is that because the loans can be terminated by the borrower at will (albeit with a charge in the first few years), it's considered new interest on a loan between Jews. Indeed, if there was no ability to prepayment it would be OK for the reason you suggest
    – AKA
    Mar 7 at 17:32

There have been notices in the synagogues in the UK drawing attention to the problem. This article refers to the problem in detail. A few quotes,

It would seem clear from the preceding discussion that l’chatchilah one should not take a loan without a heter iska from a mortgage lender whose primary owner is Jewish.

The author goes on to discuss at length

But what does one do upon discovering this fact after having already procured a mortgage?

  • 1
    I couldn't see if the article deals with the most relevant issue here - people who've taken out a mortgage with the non Jewish bank which then got sold to a Jew
    – AKA
    Mar 3 at 6:12

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