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Investigation Exposes Failings in Farage’s Account Closure

The investigation into Farage’s bank account closure has exposed serious failings. Exposing weak protocols, the investigation prompted a review. Banking oversight bodies are now re-investigating internal processes to prevent such failings. Transparency in this investigation is crucial to restore confidence and address the failings uncovered.

The investigation, led by law firm Travers Smith, was initiated in response to Farage’s claim that his account was closed due to his political views. This controversial incident led to the resignations of the CEOs of both Coutts and NatWest.

The report by Travers Smith identified shortcomings in how NatWest handled confidential information and communicated with Farage. The investigation revealed that NatWest CEO Alison Rose had discussed Farage’s personal details with a journalist under the mistaken belief that Farage had publicly confirmed his status as a Coutts customer.

However, the report ultimately deemed the decision to close Farage’s bank account lawful and primarily driven by commercial considerations. It stated, “Coutts considered its relationship with Farage to be commercially unviable because it was significantly loss-making.”

Farage expressed dissatisfaction with the review and accused Travers Smith of adopting a “mealy-mouthed approach” to his debanking. He contested the law firm’s assertion that the decision was not politically motivated, stating, “This is laughable.”

NatWest chairman Howard Davies acknowledged the “serious failings” in Farage’s treatment and issued an apology, asserting that Farage’s experience did not meet the standards expected of any customer.

The Financial Conduct Authority, Britain’s financial regulator, noted that the report highlighted potential regulatory breaches and areas requiring improvement. It announced further investigation into the impact of account closures and complaint handling on the fair treatment of customers.

It’s worth noting that the British government still holds a nearly 40% stake in NatWest, a legacy of the bank’s bailout during the global financial crisis 15 years ago.

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