The Fallout from the Nigel Farage Debanking Scandal Continues to Spread

The share price of Coutts’ parent bank, semi-state owned Natwest, has slumped 8% over the past 10 days, wiping £1 billion off its market cap and generating juicy returns for short-selling hedge funds.

The still-blossoming scandal surrounding the prestigious London-based private bank Coutts’ decision, around a month ago, to close Nigel Farage’s bank account has already claimed two senior scalps — those of Dame Alison Rose, the CEO of Coutts’ parent bank and “Big Four” lender, Natwest (formerly known as the Royal Bank of Scotland) and Coutts’ chief executive Peter Flavel. Rose resigned on Wednesday (July 26), Flavel was pushed on Thursday (July 27).

Dame Rose was the first ever women to become CEO of a major British bank after leading a government investigation into the under-representation of women in business. She was at the helm of Natwest for four years before losing her job this week for leaking confidential details of Farage’s finances to the BBC. It was the Sunak government, which claims to have been shocked by the scandal despite holding 39% of the formerly bailed out lender’s stock, that made the final call.

Per Bloomberg:

Just hours after the bank expressed full confidence in chief executive Alison Rose, aides to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt began to spread the word that she had to go. Officials told reporters that the government had significant concerns about Rose staying on after she admitted leaking information about the closure of accounts held by Brexit-campaigner Nigel Farage.

Following her “resignation” from Natwest, Dame Rose also lost her advisory roles on the prime minister’s business council, energy efficiency taskforce and net zero council. But even that was not enough to sate Farage’s desire for retribution. In an interview on BBC Breakfast Time on Wednesday the former UKIP leader said the whole board should go:

“She’s gone and it is right that she has gone. However, I think this brings into question the whole of the board. Frankly, because of how they have behaved, I think they should all go.”

Share Price Slump

Natwest’s share price has slumped 8%, wiping £1 billion off its market cap, much of which is propped up with public funds, and generating juicy returns for short-selling hedge funds [1]. The rout began in earnest on July 19, the day Farage revealed the ace up his sleeve: a 40-page dossier of internal Coutts emails and memos detailing the reasons behind the bank’s decision to close his account, which was published in full by the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph.

This, of course, is not the first time that the crème de la crème of the British establishment has massively underestimated Farage and has paid a heavy price as a result. The last time culminated in the UK’s rather disorderly exit from the European Union — an outcome that most global financial institutions, bar certain tax-avoiding hedge funds, as well as the City of London Corporation feared and publicly opposed.

This time, the ensuing scandal has already lead to the resignation of a Big-Four bank CEO who only months ago received a damehood for her services to the financial sector. It has caused yet more reputational damage to a bank whose reputation has never recovered from the woeful mismanagement and myriad scandals that preceded its collapse and subsequent bailout in 2008. It has also drawn much-needed public attention to a long-standing but accelerating trend (not just here in the UK but in the US and presumably other parts of the world): the “de-banking” of people with politically inconvenient views.

Given their acute political sensitivity, it is unlikely that the Coutts and Natwest boards took these actions without the tacit knowledge of UK banking regulators and the Bank of England, as Alexander Mercouris noted in a recent episode of The Duran. It is also hard to imagine that government officials were left out of the loop given the State’s part-ownership of Natwest.

Since the scandal has broken, the Financial Services Minister Andrew Griffith has pledged to instruct banks and fintechs, including the Big Four (NatWest, Lloyds, HSBC and Barclays), to take action to ensure customers do not lose access to services over their political views. The government has also outlined reforms that will compel banks to provide more notice of account closures and explain their motives. How these processes involve and indeed whether the government actually keeps to its word remains to be seen.

For those outside the UK who are unfamiliar with this story, a little background:

In late June, Farage went public with the news that a bank — later revealed as Coutts, one of the UK’s oldest and most prestigious private lenders whose clients include members of the royal family — had closed his account without warning. While Farage said the bank had given no reason for the action, he believed it was because of his former designation as a “politically exposed person” (PEP). PEPs pose a higher risk for financial institutions due to their greater potential exposure to involvement in corrupt practices.

In a six-minute video posted on Twitter, Farage said that losing his bank account was the equivalent of being a “non person” and that the decision may “fundamentally affect [his] future career and whether [he] can even go on staying living here in this country.” Farage also accused the establishment of “trying to force” him out of the UK “by closing [his] bank accounts.” In a second Twitter video, he said his attempts to open a new bank account elsewhere had been rebuffed by nine other companies.

Crossing Big Ethical Red Lines

Coutts and Natwest rejected Farage’s accusations that their decision to close Farage’s account was politically motivated and they began spreading stories across the media that the real reason was that Farage simply wasn’t rich enough — an allegation that Farage roundly denied. The bank requires clients to have at least £1 million in investments or borrowings, or £3 million in savings. In divulging a customer’s confidential account information to the BBC’s business editor Simon Jack, Dame Rose crossed some pretty big ethical red lines and may have actually broken the law, though she will still no doubt walk away with a very handsome severance package.

Also, what she said was not true, or at least not entirely true. This we now know because when Farage levelled his first accusation against Coutts, what he didn’t say was that he had been able to obtain, through various legal channels, a 40-page dossier from Coutts that reveals, in exhaustive detail, the actual deliberations that informed the bank’s decision to close his account. As Mercouris posited, Farage may have also had contacts inside the bank feeding him information.

The dossier includes 36 pages of background information presented to the bank’s Wealth Reputational Risk Committee in November 2022, minutes of the meeting and an email exchange confirming the decision to “exit” him as a customer. In direct contradiction to the bank’s public claims, the dossier clearly states that Farage is a “commercially viable customer” but his views “do not align with [Coutt’s] values”. For example, the bank cites his retweet of a Ricky Gervais joke and his friendship with Novak Djokovic to conclude that he is both “xenophobic and racist”.

Interestingly, the file also reveals that Farage was a “lower risk PEP (politically exposed person)” and Coutts was planning to “declassify him as a PEP” altogether on the next review since he was no longer associated with any political party. But given his mortgage was set to expire in July 2023, the bank decided ahead of time that it “did not have the appetite to renew his mortgage or provide banking facilities”. Without a mortgage, Farage fell below the bank’s financial threshold.

As mentioned here a couple of weeks ago, there are plenty of other Coutts customers whose accounts are also below the necessary financial threshold yet they have not been threatened with account closure. Presumably they don’t pose the same reputational risk as Farage. From the dossier:

The relationship has been below commercial criteria for some time and upon review of Nigel’s past public profile and connections, the perceived risks for the future weighed against the benefit of retention, the decision was taken to exit upon repayment of an existing mortgage.

The (Alleged) Russian Connection

Also noteworthy are the bank’s concerns about Farage’s alleged Russian links. One of the key “risks” the bank identified was Farage’s “potential connections” to Russia. The “alleged Russian ties/connections increased post the Russian invasion of Ukraine.” The notes claim he has “regularly been seen to be pro-Russia/pro-Putin” and that “even following the invasion, he did not criticise Putin but instead blamed the EU and NATO”. That said, it could not unearth “any evidence of direct Russian regime connection”.

It also stated:

“Despite the adverse press, NF has not been formally charged of any wrong doing, and is not subject to regulatory censure.”

Yet, the bank concluded that continuing to do business with Farage was “not compatible with Coutts given his publicly-stated views,” adding bizarrely that the decision was “not political… but centred around inclusivity and purpose.”

As mentioned earlier, arguably the most important impact of this scandal so far is the public debate it has engendered around the issue of debanking, which in turn is pushing the government into enacting legislation to protect bank customers. Certain figures in the media have tried to downplay the importance of the scandal by arguing that Farage is an attention-seeking chancer with loathsome views who is uniquely adept at whipping up a populist storm. They also downplayed the broader risk posed by banks closing customer accounts on political grounds.

They also argue that Coutts is hardly what you’d call a high street bank — as the financial commentator Frances Coppola said in a debate with Farage on Newsnight, “it’s a specialist provider of private banking services to very rich people” — and has every right to choose which people it wants to do business with. Former BBC news presenter Emily Maitlis offered a similar line of reasoning while exhorting her audience to “put aside the leaking of customer confidentiality,” which, she said, “we probably all agree is egregious”:

Maitlis conveniently ignores Farage’s claims that nine high street lenders refused to open an account for him, and Natwest only did so after the scandal around Coutts’ debanking of Farage had erupted.

And this is hardly a one-off event: as I reported a couple of weeks ago, banks on both sides of the Atlantic are increasingly debanking their customers, often without explanation. I gave the example of California-based writer, activist, and social and political commentator Elad Nehorai, whose political views and ideals could not diverge more from those of Nigel Farage. Yet he, too, had his account at Bank of America, his bank of many years, summarily closed with no apparent warning or explanation. And Bank of America is hardly what you’d call a “posh bank”.[2]

Maitlis’ claim that a bank’s services should not be considered a public utility is also dangerously wrong. Without a bank account, it is almost impossible to participate in the economy. And it is getting more difficult as cash becomes harder and harder to access and use. As Alex Lo writes for South China Morning Post, “Banking is a fundamental utility like water and electricity, and that’s precisely why democratic societies are increasingly turning to its use as a method of censorship and repression.”

Unfortunately, this problem is likely to get worse rather than better if/when central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) go live. Given their programmable nature, CBDCs will make it even easier for commercial banks, through their prospective role as “public interface providers” (PIPs), to debank politically inconvenient customers, at the behest of the government or central bank.


[1] Regulatory filings unearthed by The Telegraph reveal that hedge fund Marshall Wace had the biggest short position in the lender’s shares, which apparently dates back to the global banking jitters earlier this year. One of the hedge fund’s co-founders, Sir Paul Marshall, is also the owner of GB News, one of Farage’s fiercest defenders and one of most vocal critics of Coutts’ actions.

[2] In the US this week, another high-profile figure, Joseph Mercola, who was recently described by the New York Times as the “most influential spreader of Coronavirus misinformation online”, had his personal and business accounts closed by JP Morgan Chase — again, it seems, without warning or explanation. Steve Rye, CEO of Mercola’s company, Mercola Markets, told The Florida Standard that Mercola’s name was included in the Twitter Files. The bank has also apparently closed Rye’s account, his wife’s account and his son’s account.

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  1. Stephen

    Emily Maitlis will continue to see this as a non issue unless it happens to her. Then it will not be.

    Her comment that we “probably” all agree that banks breaching confidentiality rules is wrong seems a shocking caveat. Quite apart from the comment to set it aside. Would be good if she could explain why she thinks breaching the confidentiality rules could be a good idea (as “probably” implies) and why she thinks we should set it aside anyway.

    Classic mainstream media attitude.

    I bank with NatWest. They are not particularly customer oriented at the best of times. I would change but I fear the other banks are just as bad.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you and well said, Stephen.

      I worked at NatWest, HSBC and Barclays and bank with all three. They are much of a muchness.

  2. Benny Profane

    Beware the everything apps, like Diia, or whatever Musk is conjuring. That will make it real easy for you to be eliminated.

    1. digi_owl

      Un-personing someone used to be the behavior of cold war mustache twirling villains…

  3. AlanRoxdale

    Given their acute political sensitivity, it is unlikely that the Coutts and Natwest boards took these actions without the tacit knowledge of UK banking regulators and the Bank of England, as Alexander Mercouris noted in a recent episode of The Duran. It is also safe to assume, given the State’s part-ownership of Natwest, that some government officials were also in the loop.

    If the Twitter Files are a template to follow, it’s likely the request to close his account ultimately originated from inside the UK government. Western establishments are growing comfortable with the idea of corporations being willing to act on their behest, against dissidents or political undersirables. And corporations are happy with this cozy arrangement, as it justifies their new monopolies on the grounds of bureaucratic “efficiency”.

    I think it’s possible these kites flown against unpopular figures like Farage are tests cases or wedge issues to give the Government new extra-legal powers, or at least institutionalize their use. If they’re not part of the furniture already.

    1. Stephen

      I agree. We have an increasingly “unified” or even “totalitarian” approach where key institutions are all aligned to serve the value system of the elites. This is the antithesis of the pluralist society with checks and balances that I once thought “liberal democracy” was meant to be about.

  4. The Rev Kev

    Hard to understand why Natwest went after Nigel Farage. The guy knows how to fight and he has already cost them over £1 billion, two of their top execs and enormous reputational damage. As about 10 other banks sought to deny him banking services, for Farage, this became an existential fight to the finish and maybe he called in a few markers to the media to help go after them. Sunake must be in panic mode and trying to say that it had nothing to do with the government but how did word get to all those banks at the same time then? Was this an attempt to get Farage to move out of the country so that he would not be a factor in the next UK elections that will be held just after the US elections? Even if the entire Board is removed, I do not think that this story is finisher yet.

    1. Anonymous 2

      Having read the 40 page dossier produced by Coutts, I can understand why other banks would refuse to take Farage on. The guy is trouble, with shady connections, and therefore probably/possibly expensive to monitor. So maybe there does not have to have been a conspiracy. Just everyone coming to the same conclusion for the same reasons.

      The things I think most decent people would be unhappy with are his sexist and racist dogwhistles.

      IMO NatWest’s mistake was to fail to realise that they were stuck with Farage. They should have realised that, and, if they wanted to get him off Coutts’ books for reputational reasons, offered him an account at NatWest if he no longer had large enough deposits/borrowings to meet Coutts’ requirements.

      1. ambrit

        This is besides the point. To institutionalize the de-banking of anyone with “non-standard” political views is to legitimize a full on Police State through the “back door.”
        Free speech is the cornerstone of any democracy. Remove that and the rest falls apart.

        1. Anonymous 2

          There is a difference between (i) a bank refusing to take someone on because they think they might be dodgy or expensive to monitor , and (ii) closing down someone who is already banking with them.

          I thought I made it clear that I considered NatWest unwise to act as they did.

          But no one has an absolute right to a bank account with any particular bank.

          With UK politicians I rather like the idea of their being required to bank only with a state bank, with all their transactions being visible to the public. Would have quite an impact on UK politics, I think.

          1. ambrit

            The State Bank idea has merit. To the point of “transparency” at it’s best. If one desires to serve the public, one must become public. The idea would have a salutary impact on politics the world over. Given the decades long push towards “globalization,” a world wide solution would be necessary. No more offshore Treasure Islands as Mr. Shaxson describes them.
            The idea of the Fate of Democracy depending on one’s banking arrangements is somewhat fraught with dangers. It somehow “financializes” one’s public life. I may be tilting at windmills here, but I proceed from the position of making maximum demands and settling for medium results. Some could call it the “Middle Way,” others would call it “Medeocracy,” but I prefer it to the concept of the “Rule by Philosopher Kings.”
            Stay safe.

      2. flora

        You have just described a ‘social credit system’ which, I thought, the West opposes as undemocratic and draconian.

        Then there’s the effort to de-bank even the relatives of someone who goes against the narrative. That sounds a lot like collective punishment.

        For the first time ever, I’m in agreement with Farage: the entire board should be fired or ‘retired’.

      3. The Rev Kev

        ‘The guy is trouble, with shady connections, and therefore probably/possibly expensive to monitor.’

        So, would the same be said of Boris Johnsone? He seems to have no trouble with his banking. And when is it the job of banks to monitor anything except their customer’s ability to pay back loans?

        1. Anonymous 2

          I don’t think any UK politician will now have difficulties getting a bank account, as a result of this very episode. I don’t know about Johnson but have heard that quite a few MPs were worried about being debanked because of the PEP rules, so maybe Farage was doing them all a favour.

          In fact , thinking about it, maybe there was a conspiracy among said MPs and Farage fronted for them?

          I am out of date with my knowledge but banks have quite a lot of responsibilities to monitor customer activity to prevent/discourage criminal activity e.g. money laundering. Obviously they often fail to do this but the bankers I know assure me that they do take their responsibilities seriously and I imagine that is true of at least some of them. I can believe that not all bankers are banksters.

      4. Rubicon

        “The guy is trouble…” If one thinks Farage is “trouble” look no further than Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan. According to Wall Street On Parade, he’s got a “rap sheet” a mile long.

        Instead, we find Farage a crafty, innovative sort who knows how to go after the kill. :)

    2. Stephen

      One could interpret this metaphorically: he is the UK’s equivalent to Trump (they are / were friends). So has the U.K. Deep State sought to “get him” the same way the US justice system is pursuing Trump?

      Definitely a question worth posing.

      The U.K. does like to copy its master too.

      Farage has been the most consequential U.K. politician of this century so far, I believe. Despite having never been in government nor a member of the House of Commons.

      That does not mean I support his policies, by the way! But he is the main threat to the U.K. blob.

  5. paul

    A lower profile but perhaps more alarmingly capricious example is discussed here

    Stand out quote:

    “The head of financial crime at (HSBC owned) First Direct is Hannah Graff,who is a bloke that used to be in the army who has no history whatsoever in crime or banking or finance.”

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Paul.

      I am aware of the, ahem, lady from friends / former HSBC colleagues.

      When I came across that Wings blog, I was reminded of how Wes Streeting, who George Osborne reckons is a future Labour PM and, knowing how useless the party’s activists are, is not improbable, became a management consultant, specialising in public sector, ahem, reform, at Price Waterhouse Coopers, a job that has been deleted from his Linked In profile.

      Neither Graff nor Streeting has any technical ability for these positions, but somehow ended up in them any way. Dark forces, eh?! Macron is another one, but, at least, we know who arranged that parachute.

      1. paul

        Indeed, colonel

        It does make you wonder who is exactly moving the chess pieces.

        The apophyrical man on the clapham omnibus might dwell on our baffling selection of recent prime ministers;

        The warmongering, money hungry neo catholic who ushered in
        The paralysed, closeted son of the manse who ushered in
        The lazy and venal etonian, albeit born to the purple, who ushered in
        The venal mug who took the brusies for, and ushered in
        The lazy and venal etonian who ushered in
        The brain damaged lady, who ushered in
        The greedy and needy Hindu.

        None of whom, in my opinion, ever knowingly harboured a thought for the commonwealth of their electorate.

        It’s winners take all, and as JK Galbraith said;

        The problem with competition is that someone wins.

        We are as far as ever from representative democracy since the post war (the big one that russia sorted out) years.

  6. cosmiccretin

    The de facto monopoly conferred on the privately-owned clearing banks over operation of the public payments system is a scandalous imposition which ought never to have been permitted to come into existence.

    One of its manifestations is what Nick’s article discusses – namely its use to arbitrarily deny people, whom the banks’ managers (&/or the “deep state”, &/or the “woke” lobby) choose to pick-upon as being not fit for the rest of us to be allowed to associate with, access to the public payments system “pour encourager les autres”. Another such case – even more shocking IMO – was that of Graham Phillips.

    Another manifestation, but at the macro not micro level, is the power the monopoly confers on the banks to hold the whole of a society to ransom whenever (as happens regularly) a banking crisis irrupts. This is the notorious “too big to fail” syndrome which guarantees these banks that they will always be bailed-out by government whenever their own mismanagement (being polite!) risks making them insolvent. Politicians’ blood runs cold at the prospect of an imminent breakdown of the payments system.

    Self-evidently a payments system is a “natural monopoly” which under no circumstances should have been allowed to fall into the rapacious hands of the private banking sector and its investors.

    Dare I point out that that pernicious monopoly could be destroyed by simply enabling any citizen who desires-to to open an account at the Central Bank? Or that in and of itself that need not affect perpetuation of the circulation of physical notes and coins (which occurs through an entirely separate process)? Exactly that suggestion was put forward by the Bank of England not very long ago.

  7. EssCetera

    Note that here is a bank that initially claimed, in its defense, as if it were a valid and legitimate defense, that Farage didn’t meet its financial minimums. Why aren’t we at least a little disturbed by that?

    And nine other banks gave the same reason for refusing him?

    I fear that in the reaction over this being political, which is justified, we’re letting slide a trend in banking toward only serving the affluent. There’s a possibility here that in the near future large segments of the population may find themselves debanked for not meeting financial thresholds, is this not disturbing?

    There’s also the quesiton of the right to bank – one cannot participate in modern society without a bank account, therefore if you cannot bank you are being denied the ability to participate in society, so is there a right to have a bank account, are we owed an obligation by the banks to give us one?

    1. t

      That is odd. PEP should be easy enough to fudge based on anything, really. I suppose it could be that he has “dealings with” or funds transferring from somewhere sketchy, but so do many other customers so they cannot use that.

    2. Anonymous 2

      Coutts holds itself out as a bank which only rich people can use (some would say very rich), so I can understand their having financial minima. Having an account there is a way to tell the world you are rich.

      Farage is almost certainly very rich now. He is rumoured to have made the best part of £20mn out of the Brexit party. He insisted on being the only member of the party so only he knew what the financials were – everyone else was a subscriber. Unsurprising that he has been described as a disingenuous grifter.

      1. Stephen

        Please find a senior western politician who is not a grifter. Farage is no angel but nor are the others. That is the problem.

        You also seem to be implying that people pass some form of subjective moral test in order to have bank accounts.

        That is the road to a totalitarian society.

        1. Piotr Berman

          Anonymous 2 claims that Farage was a SUCCESSFUL grifter and thus satisfying the “wealth requirement”. About disingenuous grifters — he seems an ingenuous one.

        2. Anonymous 2

          It is a problem is it not? Banks are expected to vet their customers to try to ensure their probity, so should be allowed to turn down people they think might be dodgy. But then we have a lot of dodgy politicians.

          I am not sure I have a solution. But in practice I think UK banks are now stuck with having to offer accounts to dodgy politicians for fear of being accused of turning them down for political reasons.

    1. Nick Corbishley Post author

      That’s a good ‘un, Mildred. I might borrow it some time, if you don’t mind.

  8. Jade Bones

    Meanwhile, yesterday in the good ol’ US of A, Dr. Mercola, health and nutritional blogger often loggerheads with the “official” narrative was debanked by JP Morgan Chase. Personal, business and some employee’s accounts closed
    I continue to wonder why self proclaimed liberal friends, or for that matter conservatives who think outside the mainstream keep using the services of the banksters.
    Seems eventually those omnipotent institutions will find their actions back firing on them also.

    1. ambrit

      That highlights the question asked in the post by Mr. Corbishly, to wit, who ultimately controls who is affected.
      He suggests that the ultimate source of the decision to un-bank Mr. Farrage came from within the government. Seeing how America has form in this, I use the coordinated nation wide armed suppression of the Occupy movement on Obama’s watch as the “poster child” here, further nefarious activities are to be expected.
      Stay safe. Keep some cash on hand.

  9. spud

    first they came for the protectionists, then they came for me.

    woodrew wilson created it, hitler ran with it, free trade is fascism!

  10. ian

    So did Coutt’s ever offer to reinstate Farage’s account? The logical thing to do would be to simply say ‘we made a mistake’ and quietly reverse their previous action.

  11. Grebo

    For example, the bank cites his retweet of a Ricky Gervais joke and his friendship with Novak Djokovic to conclude that he is both “xenophobic and racist”.

    I’m pretty sure Ricky Gervais is neither xenophobic nor racist, he is just insufficiently respectful to wokeism. And if friendship with a foreigner means you are xenophobic and racist then I wonder how it is possible not to be.

  12. EssC etera

    Is there a silver lining here, that if debanking for political beliefs becomes the norm, that the masses may debank the banks? In other words, may by necessity need find alternative arrangements than banks?

  13. Revenant

    An important point us that Farage did not pull expensive legal manoeuvres to get this dossier. Anybody in the UK can file a Subject Access Request and demand a full copy if all data held on them by an organisation. For free (fair charges for printing etc may apply).

    Another important point is that this has become an ecumenical matter (or she sees another bandwagon to join) because the anti-Farage (black, woman, remainer) Gina Miller is claiming to have been debanked by Metro Bank. First they come for Nigel… :-)

    Metro merely claim they don’t provide accounts to political parties – but that is the thin end if a wedge anyway.

    Also, the problem with the AML and PEP rules is that the UK implemented them without the concessions in the EU draft, which are now being added (a bit late) and the whole scheme acts as a secret executive star chamber where the decision is without input from affected party and unappealable. This is in theory to forestall financial flight by criminals but, where no such risk exists, a system of enquiry with representations could exist where affected people could clear their names. Most money laundering reports are false positives with dire consequences for those misidentified.

    Finally, the NatWest to which Coutts first belonged was never known as Royal Bank of Scotland, it was known as Natwest. It resulted from the merger of several English banks over the 20th century, including Coutts in 1909. NatWest was acquired by RBS in 2000. RBS went bust in the GFC and was bailed out and has recently renamed itself after its least embarrassing subsidiary in 2020. I suspect Coutts is these days a subsidiary of the Group topco rather than of the old but extant NatWest division, so technically the group topco and parent was formerly named RBS but, in case of confusion, its historic owner, the underlying original NatWest, continues trading in England as it ever did.

    NB: English prejudice advises never to transact with a financial institution with Scottish in its name. They all go bad….

  14. Hayek's Heelbiter

    Re Bank of America NOT being a posh bank?! LOL.
    I’m from Charlotte originally, a BoA customer for four decades. In 2008, they dumped with (one month’s notice) all their customers in the Roanoke area with less than $1m in their bank accounts (those above the threshhold remained with the bank), shifting existing customer’s accounts to a tiny local bank.
    One aside, I’ve been a Barclays customer (founded by Quakers I found out the other day) since 1992.
    One month ago, I got a letter from Barclays, saying, “In order to serve you are better, we are shutting down your local branch”, a branch which never had less than 20 customers inside every hour that it was open. With sentences like that, does one need further proof that 25% of CEOs are certifiable psychopaths? And probably the ratio is much higher in financial services.
    A footnote to the aside: Under the watchful eye of Barclays CEO C. S. Venkatakrishnan (who remains CEO), in April 2022 the U.S. Investment Banking arm lost HALF A BILLION DOLLARS (!) in a Structured Notes screwup.
    Was anyone accountable at Barclays? Absolutely not. They company is going to make up the loss by cutting as many services as possible for their non-HNWI customers.
    Join with me please in a moment silence for our much beloved, the late Glass-Steagall, who protected so many of us during his unfortunately all-to-too brief lifespan.

    1. Victor Moses

      Good points. Banking is now such an essential service – nobody should be turned down. If you are a PEP, criminal or suspected of being one – you should be told all details of your account are being closely monitored by relevant authorities for improprieties and irregularities. That should be sufficient.

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