‘The fight goes on’: Nigel Farage demands compensation after Coutts lets him keep bank accounts

The former Brexit Party leader is demanding compensation from the private bank

Archie Mitchell
Tuesday 01 August 2023 07:51 BST
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Nigel Farage can keep his Coutts account, the bank’s chief executive has said after a row which rocked the NatWest banking group.

The former Brexit party leader said upmarket bank Coutts - owned by NatWest - had offered to keep his personal and business accounts open.

It came after they threatened to close the accounts, in part due to Mr Farage’s political views.

Depsite an apology from the bank, and the resignation of its most senior executives, Mr Farage vowed that “the fight goes on”, as he fired off a legal letter demanding compensation over the row.

Mr Farage said: “It has taken up a huge amount of my time, and has cost me so far quite a lot of money.

“I want some full apologies and compensation for my costs.”

The row began in June when Mr Farage revealed his bank accoutns were being closed “without explanation”. He went on to claim the closures were being carried out by “a big banking group” in revenge over Brexit.

The boss of NatWest Dame Alison Rose then told a BBC journalist the closures were instead being done for commercial reasons, implying Mr Farage did not have enough money in his accounts.

Brexiteer Mr Farage presented a dossier showing his Coutts account had been closed partly due to his political views. Internal documents labelled him as “xenophobic and racist”.

Dame Alison was then forced to quit after pressure from Downing Street when it emerged she had leaked the inaccurate story, in a major breach of client confidentiality.

The boss of Coutts, Peter Flavel, also stood down amid the fallout from the row, but NatWest chairman Sir Howard Davies defied calls to step down as well.

Speaking on his GB News show on Monday night, Mr Farage said the new Coutts chief executive Mohammed Syed had written to say he can keep his personal and business accounts.

He added: “That is good, and I thank him for it, but enormous harm has been done to me over the course of the last few months.

I want to find out how many other people in Coutts or NatWest have had accounts closed because of their political opinions, and I want to make sure this never happens to anybody else ever again.

Nigel Farage

“I have been lied about and I have had to put into the public domain defamatory material about me.

“So I have today sent a legal litigation letter to Coutts where I want some full apologies, I want some compensation for my costs. But more important than all of that, I want a face to face meeting with the bank’s bosses.

“I want to find out how many other people in Coutts or NatWest have had accounts closed because of their political opinions.”

NatWest has since announced an independent review, with lawyers probing the closure of Mr Farage’s account and other instances of de-banking by Coutts.

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