‘Woke culture will still be there’ Nigel Farage outlines fresh debanking ‘worry’ as NatWest appoints new chairman

A NatWest sign and Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage is concerned about the 'woke' culture at NatWest

Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 06/09/2023

- 20:17

Nigel Farage says he is concerned that the “woke culture” will remain at NatWest after the bank’s decision to appoint Rick Haythornwaite as its new chairman.

In a blistering rant on GB News, the former Brexit Party leader said he is “worried” about the bank’s decision given recent comments made about diversity by the former MasterCard boss.

It comes after Dame Alison Rose, NatWest’s chief executive, and Peter Flavel, the boss of Coutts, were forced to resign over the debanking of Farage.

Coutts closed the accounts of the GB News presenter, citing concerns over his relationship with tennis player Novak Djokovic, who is opposed to Covid vaccinations, and his retweet of a Ricky Gervais joke about trans people.

They also alleged that Farage is “xenophobic and racist” in a report obtained by the former Brexit Party leader through a subject access request.

Despite the furore leading to a mass exodus from NatWest’s top brass, Farage is fearful that nothing will change, despite the promise of a new direction.


“Sir Howard Davies, the man who has failed at virtually every public appointment he’s had, is going to get away with it and stay until the end of his term”, Farage said.

“There is a new boss, his name is Rick Haythornwaite, he is a very distinguished businessman.

“All that worries me ever so slightly is that he said recently ‘military orders need to be softened in order to improve diversity’.

“Nothing is going to change, is it? The woke culture will be there and we are still the people who bail it out.”

FarageNigel Farage spoke about his banking issue days after picking up a top awardTwitter/Nigel Farage

Farage appeared exasperated as he made the rant, covering his head with his hands in a show of displeasure at the new boss’ comments.

Following his debanking, Farage said he was concerned that the UK is heading towards a “Chinese-style social credit system” where only those with “acceptable views” are able to participate.

Ministers have refused to rule out introducing legislation to crack down on banks due to a customer’s political views.

The BBC previously suggested that anti-European Union campaigner Mr Farage fell below the financial threshold needed to have a Coutts account.

Coutts requires its customers to borrow or invest at least £1 million or save at least £3 million, according to an eligibility questionnaire on its website.

But, according to the files handed by Farage to the Mail Online, officials said closing his accounts could not be justified on the basis of his wealth as his “economic contribution” was “sufficient to retain on a commercial basis”.

It soon emerged that the information given to the BBC had been handed over by Dame Alison Rose, prompting her departure from the bank.

A Coutts spokeswoman said: “Our ability to respond is restricted by our obligations of client confidentiality.

"Decisions to close accounts are not taken lightly and take into account a number of factors including commercial viability, reputational considerations, and legal and regulatory requirements.

“As the client has previously confirmed, alternative banking arrangements have been offered within the wider group.”

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