Bank Bends the Knee to Farage: Cancels Closure of Account in Desperate Bid to End Growing Scandal

In an apparent attempt to quell the political firestorm sweeping through the banking sector over its politically-inspired decision to debank Nigel Farage, Coutts Bank now says it will cancel its closure of the Brexit leader’s accounts.

On Monday evening, Mr Farage revealed that has received a letter from Interim CEO of Coutts, Mohammad Kamal Syed with a peace offering of sorts, saying it would no longer close his personal and business accounts after it was revealed that the bank had closed them down over his political views, friendships with political figures such as Donald Trump, and even his Twitter posts.

Syed was installed following the ousting of Coutts CEO Peter Flavel and former NatWest CEO Dame Alison Rose after Mr Farage’s financial information was leaked to the BBC in a hostile briefing to obscure the politically-motivated debanking.

Mr Farage said that while he appreciated the overture from Coutts, he has no intention of giving up the campaign he has begun against the banking industry, having launched a website to organise those who have also been unjustly debanked to campaign for change in Britain.

“Most of these people aren’t in my position, they haven’t got the platform, they haven’t got the opportunity to fight back,” the Brexit leader said on GB News.

“So if I can speak up for all of those people, we can deal with this nonsense. If we can get ultimately to the position where having a bank account becomes a right in our country, because you can’t function otherwise in the 21st century without it, that would be a real victory.

“And that’s where I want to get to. Let’s get politics out of banking, let’s get prejudice out of banking.”

The scale of the issue was demonstrated by a report in the Mail on Sunday, which revealed that British banks are closeing over a thousand accounts per working day. According to a Freedom of Information request made by the paper to the Financial Conduct Authority found that last year nearly 350,000 accounts were shut down, compared to just under 50,000 in 2016.

The paper also revealed that some 90,000 people in the country are believed to have been designated as “politically exposed persons” by the banks. The designation, which Mr Farage was slapped with, is a holdover anti-money laundering and political bribery law from before the United Kingdom left the European Union given that the Conservative governments following Brexit have failed to repeal all EU laws on the books in Britain.

There has been some suggestion that Rishi Sunak’s government may amend the law to increase protections for British citizens from being unduly punished by the banks for the designation, however, no legislation has been introduced as of yet.

The report from the MoS went on to show that figures from the Financial Ombudsman Service show NatWest, the owner of the Coutts bank, was tied with Barclays for the most complaints from the public over account closures last year.

In the wake of the Farage debanking scandal, the anti-Brexit NatWest Chairman Sir Howards Davies refused to step down but said that the banking group would launch an independent inquiry into the matter.

However, Mr Farage has cast the inquiry — to be led by left-wing law firm Travers Smith — as an “absolute joke”, given that the firm’s Chair Emeritus Chris Hale has also been openly hostile to Brexit, previously describing the campaign that Farage led as “racist, xenophobic, and nostalgic.”

Declaring that there is “no prospect of a decent review,” Farage demanded a “face to face” sit down with NatWest to “find out how this happened, why this happened” and for the bank to acknowledge that it had “broken the law” in his case.

“I want you to accept that you’ve taken up an inordinate amount of my time. You’ve cost me a great deal of money in legal fees already, which I’ve used all the way through to make sure that I was dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s,” he continued.

“But more important than all of that, I want to know how many other people had accounts closed at NatWest and Coutts because of their opinions. And what can we do to make sure that nothing like this ever happens to anybody else in your banking group again?”

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