Steerpike Steerpike

Humiliation for Coutts as they grovel to Farage

Credit: Getty images

Gerald Ratner, eat your heart out. The decision by Coutts to ‘de-bank’ Nigel Farage over reputational concerns and then brief the BBC that it was due to financial requirements will go down as one of the worst corporate own goals in recent history. After two days of media fury, whipped up by the former Ukip leader, Coutts have now thrown in the towel and issued a grovelling apology to Farage for comments made about him during a meeting of the bank’s wealth reputational risk committee.

Alison Ross, the chief executive of NatWest which owns Coutts, this afternoon released a lengthy apology for the ‘deeply inappropriate comments made in the now published papers… I would like to make it clear that they do not reflect the views of the bank’. She continued ‘I believe very strongly that freedom of expression and access to banking are fundamental to our society and it is absolutely not our policy to exit a customer on the basis of legally held political and personal views.’ The bank has now offered ‘alternative banking arrangements’ at NatWest. Will that be enough for Farage?

Once they talked about ‘doing a Ratner’ – now they’ll talk about ‘doing a Coutts’. You can read the full letter below:

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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