The BBC has apologised to Nigel Farage for a story it carried on the closure of his accounts at NatWest’s (NWG.L) private bank Coutts, which he said was due to his political views.
According to Reuters, Farage fell below the financial threshold required to be a customer at Coutts, which advises its clients to be able to borrow or invest at least 1 million pounds ($1.28 million) with the bank or hold 3 million pounds in savings.
However, an internal assessment of Farage’s bank account revealed that the private bank’s wealth reputational risk committee had stated that his beliefs did not correspond with the firm’s own.
“We acknowledge that the information we reported – that Coutts’ decision on Mr Farage’s account did not involve considerations about his political views – turned out to be incorrect and have apologised to Mr Farage,” the BBC wrote in its website’s corrections and clarifications section.
My thanks to @BBCSimonJack for his apology.
I have also received a letter of apology from the BBC News CEO, Deborah Turness.
I am very grateful to both. pic.twitter.com/ddjBkLUWUf
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) July 24, 2023
The BBC appended a correction at the top of the online version of the original report, and BBC Business Editor Simon Jack issued his own apologies through Twitter.
“The information upon which we based our reporting on Nigel Farage and his bank accounts came from a trusted and senior source,” Jack explained. “However, the information turned out to be both incomplete and inaccurate.”
Farage thanked Jack and stated that he had received an apologetic letter from BBC News Chief Executive Deborah Turness. “I am very grateful to both,” he tweeted.
Natwest CEO Alison Rose also apologised last week to Farage, an anti-immigrant politician who was a major Brexit supporter during Britain’s vote to leave the European Union in 2016.
The issue compelled the government to intervene last week, with the finance ministry establishing new guidelines requiring British banks to justify and postpone any decision to terminate an account.
Coutts is an established private bank in the United Kingdom. It was formed in 1692 and has a long history of offering high-net-worth individuals, families, and institutions with asset management and private banking services. Coutts has earned a reputation for providing personalised and bespoke financial solutions to its clients throughout the years.
Coutts is a private bank that provides a variety of services such as private banking, investment management, estate planning, tax counselling, and charity. Its clientele often have significant assets that require specialised financial guidance and solutions to manage and expand.
Coutts is noted for its discreet and exclusive approach to banking, offering its clients a high level of secrecy and confidentiality. Many important and rich persons, including members of the British royal family, have used the bank’s services.
Nigel Farage is a British politician and significant figure in the Euroskeptic movement. On April 3, 1964, he was born in Downe, Kent, England. Farage is best recognised for his leadership position in lobbying for the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, sometimes known as “Brexit.”
In the 1980s, he became active in politics, and in 1993, he became a founder member of the UK Independence Party (UKIP). Farage was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for South East England from 1999 until 2020 and served as the party’s leader on several occasions.
Farage has been a prominent critic of the European Union throughout his political career, fighting for the UK’s sovereignty and self-governance. He was a key figure in the Brexit campaign building up to the 2016 referendum, in which 52% of British voters chose to leave the EU.
Following the Brexit referendum, Farage maintained his influence in British politics and showed sympathy for other populist movements across Europe. He has been a divisive figure, drawing criticism for some of his statements and opinions while also acquiring a sizable following among those who embrace his anti-EU attitude and populist beliefs.
Please keep in mind that my knowledge is only current until September 2021, and Nigel Farage’s career and activities may have changed since then.