Watchdog Finds Farage Debanking Saga Did Break Law, But Takes No Further Action

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCT 07, 2023 - Nigel Farage at the Reform Party conference in Lon
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A UK government watchdog has concluded the former CEO of one of the nation’s largest banks did break the law over the debanking of Nigel Farage, but has decided not to take any further action.

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO), a theoretically powerful data protection body with the power to pursue organisations suspected of having broken the Data Protection Act through the courts and to issue fines has made a ruling in the case of the handling of Nigel Farage by Natwest CEO Dame Alison Rose, concluding the law was broken. Yet despite that, it is reported the ICO says Rose having resigned already is enough and it intends to take no further action, despite earlier revelations that she still possibly stands to benefit from significant payouts from the partly state-owned bank for years to come.

Per a report in the UK business-focus globalist newspaper The Financial Times, the ICO found the former NatWest boss Dame Alison had breached data laws twice by speaking to a journalist about the bank’s decision to debank Brexit leader Mr Farage earlier this year. In one case, she revealed sensitive personal financial information about Mr Farage, and in another gave the journalist “misleading information” about him by claiming the account was being closed for purely commercial reasons, an assertion which was later proven false.

Alison Rose, chief executive officer of Natwest Group Plc, right, and Alex Dawtrey, chief communications officer of Natwest Group Plc, depart following a meeting with UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt in Downing Street in London, UK, on Friday, June 23, 2023. Hunt said he will meet banks and UK mortgage providers this week to discuss the impact of rising interest rates on homeowners, but pushed back against calls for intervention he said would undermine the government’s top priority to tackle inflation. Photographer: Carlos Jasso/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Farage’s rights were infringed by these actions, the report stated, and the ICO said it had given NatWest a slap on the wrist but declined to do more. They said: “We have been clear with the bank that these actions were unacceptable and should not happen again… However, in view of the fact the individual in question resigned her post and the bank has commissioned its own investigation, we do not intend to take any further regulatory action at this time.”

Mr Farage responded to these findings, pointing out specifically that they absolutely confirmed that ex-bank boss Rose had indeed disclosed “confidential and misleading information about me to a BBC journalist”, and pointed to the enormous pay packet she still stands to receive despite having now officially left NatWest Group. He wrote: “To reward these enormous failings with a huge sum of money would be wrong and a slap in the face to taxpayers. I will be watching closely to see if the NatWest Group board agrees.”

The NatWest board is due to meet today and is expected to discuss the remuneration of Dame Alison, which if maintained would see her receive a reported £2.4 million in cash, pensions, and shares in the coming years. Sky News reported on Wednesday that the NatWest board is “expected” to cancel “about £5.2m of long-term share options she had accrued during her leadership of the bank” and that she could potentially take the bank to court if it tried.

The ICO ruling is the second major development in the Farage debanking story this week, after the Brexit veteran got hold of internal communications from NatWest as part of a bumper 600-page long Subject Access Request release. The document confirmed, without doubt, the massively political move to debank Mr Farage, and also seemed to prove that Dame Alison’s previous claims that her comments and actions did not reflect a wider culture at the bank she led to be false.

Staffers at the bank wrote: “No one will bank him now. Have we single-handedly driven NF [Nigel Farage] out of the country?” and “Hope that knocked him down a peg or 2”. Most seriously, internal messages confirmed the initial public claims of the bank were false and that he was bedanked for purely political reasons. It was written: “There’s no financial crime involved but his dealings are not within our appetite” and the employee tasked with contacting Farage to inform him his accounts were being closed were told to “keep it simple” and to claim, falsely, that it was a “commercial decision”.


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