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Bank’s reasons for booting Nigel Farage revealed — RT World News

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Coutts told the UKIP founder his account was closed for financial reasons, but an internal document says otherwise

UK bank Coutts dropped British politician Nigel Farage as a customer not because his accounts contained insufficient funds but because his social and political views were incompatible with its “values,” according to a 40-page dossier compiled by the bank and seen by the UK Telegraph on Tuesday. 

While admitting “there is no evidence of regulator or legal censure of [Farage],” the document concluded Farage was no longer “compatible with Coutts given his publicly-stated views that were at odds with our position as an inclusive organization.”

“This was not a political decision, but one centered around inclusivity and purpose,” the file stated, recommending the UKIP founder be put on a “glide path” to debanking as soon as his mortgage deal concluded – even though he was described as “professional, polite and respectful” in his dealings with Coutts.

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While searching for a legitimate reason to drop him, Coutts apparently tried to leverage Farage’s “Russian connections,” only to find he did not have any. The file discussed his appearances on RT, where he was last a guest in 2017, alongside a claim about receiving payment from the Russian network that the bank admitted was bogus, and lamented that his comments about the conflict in Ukraine “fall short of endorsement” of the Russian position. 

The bank ultimately settled on reputational risk. Farage “presents a material and ongoing reputational risk to the bank” as he is “regularly (almost constantly) the subject of adverse media,” the document explained, citing dozens of unfavorable news articles, including many from partisan sources like Hope Not Hate and Labour Movement for Europe.

The populist “is seen as xenophobic and racist” and a “disingenuous grifter” who promotes values that “do not align with the bank’s,” the dossier stated, referring to comments that were “distasteful and appear increasingly out of touch with wider society,” reportedly including tweets expressing his belief that the UK should leave the European Convention on Human Rights. His friendships with former US president Donald Trump and Serbian tennis champion Novak Djokovic were also brought up as liabilities.

When Farage revealed last month that Coutts had closed his account without giving a reason, the bank claimed his balance had fallen below the minimum amount required to maintain an account. The dossier, which he obtained through a subject access request, thoroughly contradicts the bank’s statement, explaining that his “economic contribution is now sufficient to retain on a commercial basis.”

Farage described the file to the Telegraph as a “Stasi-style surveillance report” that “reads rather like a pre-trial brief drawn up by the prosecution in a case against a career criminal,” noting the word “Brexit” appears 86 times and that Coutts found no fault with him before Brexit became an issue in 2016.

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