Nigel Farage launches website over de-banking scandal

Nigel Farage says he has launched a campaign to stand up for people who have been “de-banked” after the row over his Coutts account closure.

He said on social media he will “fight back against the big banks who have let us down”. It comes after it emerged Mr Farage’s political views were a factor in his account being closed.

NatWest CEO Dame Alison Rose and Coutts boss Peter Flavel both stepped down over the fallout last week. Dame Alison quit after admitting making a mistake in speaking about Mr Farage’s relationship with Coutts, a subsidiary of NatWest that serves the wealthy, with a BBC journalist. On Thursday the boss of Coutts also quit.

Sir Howard Davies, NatWest chairman, has faced calls to resign, but he vowed to remain in post to ensure the bank’s stability. Mr Farage said in late June his account had been shut and he had not been given a reason. He did not name the bank at the time.

The BBC reported it was closed because he no longer met the wealth threshold for Coutts, citing a source familiar with the matter.

However, Mr Farage later obtained a report from the bank that indicated his political views were also considered.

The BBC has since apologised to the former Ukip leader and said its story was inaccurate. Launching the website via a video posted on social media, Mr Farage said: “Most people who have this happen to them feel helpless. There’s no-one to speak for them.

“And I think what’s emerging is a major national scandal. You can’t live without a bank account in the 21st Century.”

The campaign is described on the website as being for individuals and small medium businesses “who have faced unjust treatment from banks and financial services companies, particularly when their accounts have been abruptly closed and essential services withdrawn”. It comes as former prime minister Liz Truss said she was “appalled” at the treatment of Mr Farage.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, she said: “The saga shows how a powerful technocracy presides over an increasingly opaque system, while elected politicians – in particular those politicians whose views do not find favour at London dinner parties – are treated with suspicion.”

Senior Tory MP David Davis, writing in The Sun, said he will bring forward a private member’s bill in the Commons to “guarantee everyone has a right to a bank account”.

Source: BBC


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