Nigel Farage threatens NatWest with court proceedings over failure resolve debanking as new boss announced

Nigel Farage threatens NatWest with court proceedings over failure resolve debanking as new boss announced

Nigel Farage said NatWest must change

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 16/02/2024

- 10:54

Updated: 16/02/2024

- 13:54

Nigel Farage accounts NatWest Group’s Coutts of closing his bank account because it didn’t agree with his political views last year

Nigel Farage has demanded a change in culture at NatWest Group’s Coutts to resolve the debanking scandal.

The Honorary President of Reform UK said he will issue court proceedings against the bank within days if it does not settle an ongoing compensation claim with him and pledge to debanking customers whose views it doesn't agree with, The Telegraph reports.

Mr Farage called for a change of culture within the bank last night, ahead of the group announcing Paul Thwaite as its permanent chief executive today.

NatWest is gearing up to sell its shares to everyday investors as soon as the summer, as the Government attempts to fully offload the taxpayer stake in the bank.

Mr Farage told The Telegraph: "How on earth is an unreformed bank ready for a public offering of shares to the huge number of people who its executives hold in contempt?"

Writing for the publication, he said: "I am now, with my legal team, ready to lodge court papers which would lead to a court case that could possibly derail the public offering."

Nigel Farage in pictures

Nigel Farage accused NatWest Group's Coutts of debanking him due to his political views not aligning with the bank's


Speaking on his GB News show last night, Mr Farage said: “If the new people put in position are simply a continuum of those that went before, and if the £350million of bonuses are being given out to the very people who said vile things about me, if there’s been no recognition and the Travers Smith report into the whole affair was simply a whitewash, then how on earth can we trust this bank to sell shares to the British public when there’s been absolutely no change of culture within that bank whatsoever.

“If NatWest think it’s going to be plain sailing from tomorrow to the public issue in June, well you know what, they might just have me to deal with again.”

The UK Government bailed out NatWest Group, previously known as Royal Bank of Scotland with nearly £46billion during the 2008 financial crisis.

It has been gradually reducing this shareholding from a peak of 84 per cent in 2009, now owning less than 35 per cent – worth around £7billion.

NatWest Group revealed its highest yearly profit since before the 2008 financial crisis today, as it announced its new boss today.

The banking group revealed an operating pre-tax profit of £6.2billion over 2023, the highest profit since the £9.9billion made just before the global financial crisis in 2007.

Mr Thwaite succeeds Dame Alison Rose, who stepped down from the role following the debanking row last year.

NatWest Group’s decision to close Mr Farage’s Coutts account showed “serious failings” in its treatment of the politician, an independent probe found last year.

An investigation by law firm Travers Smith found failures in how it treated confidential information and in its communication with Mr Farage.

WATCH NOW: Nigel Farage urges recognition of debanking scandal in NatWest

The report said Dame Alison made an “honest mistake” in disclosing details of the former politician’s bank account to a BBC journalist.

The investigators said: “She honestly, but incorrectly, believed that the client had publicly confirmed that he was a customer of Coutts.”

However, it reported that the decision to close Mr Farage’s bank account was lawful and predominantly commercial.

It came after Mr Farage claimed Coutts had closed his account because his political beliefs didn’t not align with the bank.

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