Coutts wins ‘best bank for diversity and inclusion’ award just months after Nigel Farage debanking row

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Coutts has won the Best Private Bank for Diversity & Inclusion (Europe) award

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 16/11/2023

- 18:44

Coutts has been engulfed in controversy this year over the decision to close Nigel Farage's bank account

Coutts has been named as the winner of a "diversity and inclusion" award.

The private bank, which is part of NatWest Group's wealth management division, won the title of Best Private Bank for Diversity & Inclusion (Europe) at the Global Private Banking Awards.

The bank also won the title of Best Digital Initiative in Private Banking (Europe).

The awards came just months after Coutts apologised for debanking GB News presenter Nigel Farage.

The politician's Coutts account was closed because his views did not “align” with the bank’s own values “as an inclusive organisation”.

WATCH NOW: Nigel Farage on Coutts debanking scandal

An independent review into the closure of Nigel Farage's Coutts account identified "serious failings" over its treatment of and communication with Mr Farage.

The investigation ruled the decision to close his account was lawful and predominantly commercial.

It sparked a debate into UK debanking, with more than one thousand new cases relating to bank account closures having since been opened.

The Financial Ombudsman has launched 1,613 investigations in the six months to the end of September.

There were 2,708 cases across the whole of 2022/23.

The new statistics suggest complaints are set to rise by a fifth to around 3,200 this financial year, based on the current trend.

Mr Farage announced in June that Coutts was planning to close his account was planning to close his account.

The former Brexit Party leader claimed it was due to his political opinions.

An article later published by the BBC cited sources claiming the account was closed for commercial reasons.

Weeks later, Dame Alison Rose, who was the NatWest Group CEO at the time, was forced to admit that she was the source for the BBC article.

The chief executive left the company in July following the fallout from the debanking row.

Last week, NatWest announced it had scrapped about £7.6million in potential payouts to the former boss.


Nigel Farage in pictures

Nigel Farage revealed Coutts intended to close his account in June


Dame Alison will get £2.4million for 12 months' worth of pay and benefits, as well as around £800,000 for former bonus shares due to vest in March next year.

She could have been eligible for a further £4.7million worth of shares and almost £2.9billion in variable pay awards.

NatWest stressed that there was “no finding of misconduct” against her.

Dame Alison said: "I am pleased that NatWest Group has confirmed that no findings of misconduct have been made against me,” she said.

“I can also confirm acceptance of the terms of the settlement agreement, which is in line with NatWest Group’s remuneration policy, bringing the matter to a close.”

GB News has contacted Coutts asking for comment.

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