Why Britain’s most prestigious bank canceled Nigel Farage

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LONDON ̵1; He always said the UK establishment was out to catch him. Now Nigel Farage has the receipts.

Britain’s most prominent Brexiteer has produced a 12,000-word document from bank Coutts which, according to Faraz, reveals the truth behind the forced closure of his accounts there.

The former Brexit party leader has been embroiled in a dispute with the organization – so prestigious it has served successive generations of the royal family – when Coutts canceled his account earlier this month. Faraz said at the time that no reason was given – but in subsequent media reports, with bbcFaraz no longer completed citing minimum funding limit.

Now an internal document from Coutts has been obtained through a subject access request made by Faraj to the bank fully published by the Daily Mail newspaper, indicating that he had long ago wanted to drop her as a client – ​​and used her controversial public profile as justification.

A briefing presented to the bank’s “reputational risk committee” said that Faraj is considered by many to be an “insidious bribery” with “xenophobic, xenophobic and racist views” and suggested that once he could pay off his mortgage Will tax and his property will be less then he can dump it. Criteria.

The document cited his comments on Brexit, former US President Donald Trump and his friendship with controversial tennis star Novak Djokovic. This reflects his views on the Covid vaccine and unproven ties with Russia.

The report stated, “The committee did not think that continuing to bank NF was compatible with Coutts, as his publicly expressed views were contrary to our position as an inclusive organization.” “This was not a political decision but focused on inclusivity and purpose.”

In a section entitled “Key risks”, the Coutts committee states that “there is a lot of adverse press relating to the NF,” and states that Farage is “high profile and actively stirs up controversy.”

Referring to his support of Trump and his defense of the sexual assault allegations leveled against the former president, the document states that his comments are “distasteful and increasingly out of touch with the wider society.”

Faraj has said that Coutts had previously told him that he was not being treated as a “politically exposed person” – a banking term for clients who are considered risky because of their political prominence.

The dossier said that Faraj had already been downgraded to low risk and could lose that designation altogether “as he is no longer associated with any political party.”

In a statement to the Telegraph, Coutts said its ability to respond is restricted by “obligations to client confidentiality”, and that the decision to close the accounts “takes into account a number of factors, including commercial viability, reputational considerations and legal and regulatory requirements”. keeps.”

counter attack

The document has already sparked a strong reaction in Britain, with ministers demanding answers and warning of serious implications for freedom of expression.

Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – who is not an ideological ally of Faraj’s – tweeted on Wednesday afternoon: “This is wrong. No one should be stopped from using basic services for their political views. Free speech is a cornerstone of our democracy.” Is.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted: “This is wrong. No one should be stopped from using basic services for their political views”. Pool photo by Paul Ellis via Getty Images

City minister Andrew Griffiths said in a statement on Wednesday that “it would be a matter of grave concern if financial services were being denied to anyone exercising their right to legitimate expression.”

“Businesses have a right to protect themselves from real risks to their reputation – for example from criminal activity – but the prerogative of a banking license in a democracy should include a duty not to ‘debank’ because you don’t agree with someone’s views, ” He added.

The controversy over the high-profile bank freezing of his account gives Faraj – who is now the host of the right-wing GB News channel – a new opportunity to criticize political correctness and alleged censorship of right-wing views.

Attacks on “woke capitalism” are not limited to the former leader of the Brexit Party, and feature prominently in right-wing populist politics in the US, where Republicans are waging war on Wall Street’s efforts to tackle climate change and the governor of Florida Ron DeSantis is publicly feuding with Disney.

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who is seen on the right of the ruling Conservatives, tweeted, “The Coutts scandal exposes the sinister nature of the diversity, equality and inclusion industry.”

The controversy also raises wider questions about whether this is just one man’s battle with his bank – or a wider problem of banks leaving uncomfortable customers

Global dirty money regulations force lenders, in their role as gatekeepers of the financial system, to conduct more detailed checks on risky customers.

Those checks cost money and lead to some customers – including diamond merchantrefugees and Diplomats Less attractive to banks.

But such tests are also there for a reason. Qatargate bribery scandal in brussels – which literally describes bags of cash recovered by police – shows how some politicians may be deserving of additional scrutiny.