Alison Rose, the CEO of NatWest, one of Britain’s largest banks, has announced her resignation after it was revealed that she leaked information about Brexit politician and UK Independence Party (UKIP) founder Nigel Farage’s financial affairs to a BBC journalist. The incident occurred when Rose informed the BBC that one of NatWest’s subsidiaries had ended its relationship with Farage due to insufficient funds. However, it was later discovered that his accounts were actually canceled because of his political views.
Farage, who is now a TV pundit for GB News, publicly stated last month that he had been denied service by Coutts, a wealth management division of NatWest. He claimed that his political opinions were the reason for his dismissal as a customer. However, the BBC reported that Coutts had actually cut ties with him for “commercial” reasons, citing his failure to meet the bank’s £1 million wealth requirement.
Farage, determined to uncover the truth, obtained an internal document that proved Coutts had considered his political positions, such as his opposition to immigration and criticisms of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, and concluded that he was incompatible with their values. Neither NatWest nor Coutts have disputed the authenticity of the document.
This revelation led to Rose being exposed as the BBC’s source in a report by The Telegraph. Subsequently, she resigned, acknowledging that she had falsely informed BBC Business Editor Simon Jack that the decision to close Farage’s accounts was purely a commercial one. Rose also apologized to Farage for the inappropriate language used to describe his political outlook in the document, emphasizing that she was not involved in the decision to terminate his accounts.
The internal document described Farage as xenophobic, racist, and a disingenuous grifter. It criticized his views as distasteful and out of touch with wider society and highlighted his friendship with former US President Donald Trump as a potential reputational risk to the bank. Farage condemned the document as a Stasi-style surveillance report and compared it to a pre-trial brief against a career criminal. He called Rose’s resignation a start and called for the entire NatWest board to step down as they had previously approved a statement by Rose denying the revelation of his personal financial information.
The resignation of Rose has received support from Treasury Minister Andrew Griffith, who deemed NatWest’s decision to withdraw a bank account based on someone’s lawful political views as unacceptable.
In conclusion, Alison Rose’s resignation as CEO of NatWest follows the revelation that she leaked information about Nigel Farage’s financial affairs to a BBC journalist. Farage’s accounts were canceled due to his political views, as confirmed by an internal document. While Rose apologized for her involvement and inappropriate language, Farage has called for the resignation of the entire NatWest board. The incident raises concerns about the bank’s handling of customers’ accounts based on their political beliefs.