Nigel Farage demands apology from BBC over reporting on bank account

Nigel Farage goes to war with the BBC – demanding apology after they reported his bank account was closed because he had not met financial threshold

  • Former Ukip leader demands BBC correct original story on Coutts account
  • The corporation reported that Mr Farage fell below financial threshold 

Nigel Farage has gone to war with the BBC, demanding an apology over its report that his bank account was closed because he had not met its financial threshold.

He has called on the corporation to ‘correct their original story’ about him and said he will be making a complaint.

Internal documents have suggested the real reason Mr Farage was dropped by Coutts was because his views did not ‘align with its purpose and values’.

The former Ukip leader claimed the 36-page dossier, obtained under a subject access request, showed the private bank was lying about why his account was closed. He has also turned fire on the BBC after business editor Simon Jack ran a story on July 4, claiming Mr Farage ‘fell below the financial threshold required to hold an account at Coutts’.

In a post on Twitter, Mr Farage wrote: ‘Will Simon Jack and BBC News be apologising for their reporting on this story? His mealy-mouthed tweet of the generic Coutts statement overnight is not enough.

Nigel Farage has demanded an apology from the BBC over its reporting about why his bank account was closed

Mr Farage claimed that Coutts had lied about the reasons his account was closed

‘The BBC must correct their original story about me. I will be making a complaint.’ 

Documents from the bank, whose clients include members of the Royal Family, showed the bank’s ‘wealth reputational risk committee’ chose to ‘exit’ Mr Farage after looking at his comments on Brexit, as well as his links to Donald Trump and tennis star Novak Djokovic.

Officials at the bank observed that the politician’s wealth could not be used as a justification for shutting his accounts, as his ‘economic contribution’ was ‘sufficient to retain on a commercial basis’.

Claims made under parliamentary privilege by Labour MP Chris Bryant, that Mr Farage was paid more than £500,000 by the Russian state – which he vehemently denies – were also referred to in the dossier.

Mr Farage said of the dossier: ‘This document is astonishing, it’s abusive and it makes a whole series of wildly false statements about Russia while acknowledging I have not been convicted of anything.’

Conservative commentator Tim Montgomerie wrote on Twitter: ‘Coutts’ behaviour turns out to be genuinely shocking and we can conclude that the BBC was far too eager to accept the bank’s (less than honest) briefing on why it was closing Nigel Farage’s account.’ 

The corporation has yet to confirm whether it will respond to Mr Farage and whether it is planning to correct the original story.

12 key questions Coutts would not answer

1. How many accounts has Coutts terminated on political grounds?

2. Who agreed the political tests and ‘inclusivity values’ used to decide who can be your customers?

3. Was your chairman involved in this process, and was it approved by your board and chief executive?

4. Does it have the support of Coutts’ parent bank, NatWest Group?

5. Do other banks within NatWest Group have the same or other tests?

6. Under what process was the decision taken over Nigel Farage’s account?

7. Who compiled the report into his activities, revealed by his subject access request?

8. Who approved the decision to terminate his account?

9. Will Coutts publish its policy over political exposure and values so customers can check if they would fall foul of them?

10. Does Coutts hold accounts for any political figures or officials involved in undemocratic regimes, or territories which do not observe human rights?

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