Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023


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Nigel Farage lashes out at banking industry after Coutts scandal

3 min read

Nigel Farage has hit out at the entire banking industry and called for an end to “woke nonsense” after the closure of his Coutts bank account. The former Brexit Party leader also lashed out after Coutts owner NatWest posted bumper profits.

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Mr Farage on Friday wrote on Twitter: “The NatWest profits are no great surprise. Interest payments have risen sharply yet deposits have lagged. The whole sector is making massive profits whilst treating the public badly.”

The British bank, which has been embroiled in a row after “de-banking” Mr Farage, reported a “strong” financial performance for the first half of the year with its operating pre-tax profit leaping to £3.6billion in the six months to the end of June.

NatWest chief executive Dame Alison Rose resigned on Wednesday after admitting to being the source of an incorrect BBC report about Mr Farage’s finances. Coutts boss Peter Flavel also stepped down on Thursday.

Coutts took objection to Mr Farage’s support for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his campaigning for Brexit, but both the elite bank and its owner NatWest have been at the centre of a row over whether lenders should be arbiters of free speech.

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After the announcement of Mr Flavel’s stepping down, Mr Farage posted on Twitter, writing: “The banking industry is starting to run scared — and so it should.

“Banks should provide banking services, not have a set of social and political ‘values’ we should align to. They need to end the whole woke nonsense immediately. It’s gone too far.”

NatWest chairman Sir Howard Davies on Friday refused to say whether Mr Farage will be given back his account at Coutts bank.

It is believed Mr Farage was instead offered an account with NatWest.

Asked if the former MEP will get his closed bank account back, Mr Davies said: “It isn’t appropriate for me to talk about the status of his accounts, whether at Coutts or at NatWest. I really should not and will not do that.

“But as you say, it has been widely reported that he has been offered alternative banking arrangements.”

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Meanwhile, NatWest has launched an independent review into the handling of Mr Farage’s account being shut down.

Sir Howard said it has appointed Travers Smith to lead the review into the account closure and how the information was handled.

He added: “The last few weeks have been a painful period for the bank, and we apologise for the uncertainty created for customers and shareholders during that period.”

Interim chief executive Paul Thwaite said: “It’s an understatement to say that these are not ideal circumstances for anyone to take over. It’s clear to me that we got some things wrong.

“It will take time to address some of those challenges, but I’ve already taken action. I’m determined we learn, and start to move forward quickly.”

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