Jeremy Hunt ‘concerned’ by NatWest chief after ‘de-banking’ of Farage

Jeremy Hunt talking on some steps

Jeremy Hunt has expressed concern over NatWest's leadership after its chief executive admitted leaking private banking information about Nigel Farage to the BBC

PA
Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler


Published: 25/07/2023

- 22:34

Updated: 25/07/2023

- 23:04

The CEO of NatWest said she 'made a serious error of judgment'

Jeremy Hunt has expressed concern over NatWest's leadership after its chief executive admitted leaking private banking information about Nigel Farage to the BBC.

A source close to the chancellor claims he was "significantly concerned" about the situation following Dame Alison Rose's revelations on Tuesday.


In a statement, Rose who is CEO of the NatWest Group, said she "was wrong to respond to any question raised by the BBC about this case".

But following her apology, one senior minister told the Financial Times that her position was “absurd and untenable”.

Nigel Farage speaks on GB News

The BBC apologised to the GB News presenter after the broadcaster was forced to amend a story based on information from a 'trusted and senior' source which turned out to be 'incomplete and inaccurate'

GB News

It comes after the BBC apologised to the GB News presenter after the broadcaster was forced to amend a story based on information from a "trusted and senior" source which turned out to be "incomplete and inaccurate".

Rose has been under increasing pressure since Farage unveiled screenshots last week which revealed his account at NatWest’s banking brand Coutts was closed because his political views went against its values.

The NatWest board has issued a "further apology" to Farage and said Rose "should not have spoken in the way she did".

But Howard Davies, Chairman of the NatWest Group said while Rose’s conversation with Jack was "a regrettable error of judgement on her part", after "careful reflection the Board has concluded that it retains full confidence in Ms Rose as CEO of the bank".

Hunt’s comments come as other senior cabinet ministers call for Rose to resign after claiming that she inadvertently left Simon Jack with the impression that Farage did not meet Coutts’s wealth threshold.

Downing Street’s concerns are particularly significant as taxpayers have a 39 per cent stake in NatWest, which owns Coutts.

“She has got to go. She has no integrity and has done material damage to the bank and its reputation," one cabinet minister told The Times.

"The chairman has also lost his credibility by saying it’s in the interests of customers and shareholders to keep her. Frankly the whole board has got to go if it wants to defend her.”

A second said that her apology was “not enough” and that it is “difficult to see how she can survive”, while a third said that “she’s got to go”.

In a statement, Alison Rose, CEO of the NatWest Group said she 'was wrong to respond to any question raised by the BBC about this case'PA

“She hasn’t understood from the outset just how serious this is,” they said. “She’s obfuscated at every turn.”

BBC sources have accused Rose of “double standards” as they insisted Jack did double-check the facts before publishing the story.

Farage told GB News: "There is absolutely no way, if the BBC went back for a second time to confirm the story, that they would not have checked that it was the balance of my account that had led to that commercial decision. Someone is lying here. Of that I have no doubt at all."

He added: "It's perfectly clear to me that Alison Rose is unfit to be the CEO of a big group and that Howard Davis, who was supposed to be in charge of governance, has failed as well.

"Given that we have a 39 per cent stake in this we, the great British public, I think at that investor statement on Friday morning, the Government ought to say we have no confidence in this management.

"Frankly, I think they should all go and that is my conclusion from what we've learned this afternoon."

You may like

{% if context.post.roar_specific_data and context.post.roar_specific_data.affiliate_post %} {% elif %} {% endfor %}