By Linda Hall •
Published: 22 Sep 2023 • 17:01
NIGEL FARAGE: Former UK leader unhappy with FCA report
Photo credit: CC/Gage Skidmore
THE UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found no evidence that banks closed or denied accounts owing to customers’ politics or opinions.
A preliminary review by Britain’s financial regulator, prompted by the Nigel Farage debanking controversy, established that accounts were closed, suspended or denied when they were inactive or concerns existed regarding finance irregularities.
“While no bank, building society or payment firm reported that they had closed accounts primarily due to someone’s political views, further work is needed for us to be sure,” the FCA’s chief executive, Nikhil Rathi admitted.
This entails checking initial information from 34 banks, building societies and payment companies, including cases where accounts were shut down if customers were considered a “reputational risk”.
Banks may decide who they accept as clients and can, for instance, legally refuse to do business with persons subject to UK or international sanctions as well as those “closely associated” with them.
The FCA nevertheless added that it wanted to be sure criteria were not being interpreted “too broadly.”
Former UK leader Nigel Farage who was debanked by exclusive Coutts, which deals only with the wealthy, described the report as a “complete and utter farce” and called for sackings at the FCA.
Farage maintained that the decision to close his accounts was linked to his status as a “politically exposed person” (PEP).
Initially the bank claimed that Farage was no longer wanted as a client as he had fallen below its wealth limit which requires customers to borrow or invest at least £1 million (€1.16 million) or hold £3 million (€3.47 million) in savings. The politician known as “Mr Brexit” fell below this threshold once his mortgage expired this year.
At the same time, a report by Coutts’ reputation committee considered that Farage posed a risk, and accused him of being regarded as “xenophobic and racist” while making remarks that were “distasteful and appear increasingly out of touch with wider society.”
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Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share?
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