Damian Reilly Damian Reilly

Nigel Farage, NatWest, and the sinister rise of corporate ‘purpose’ 

(Credit: Getty images)

The plot is thickening. If it turns out NatWest CEO Alison Rose was the source for BBC business editor Simon Jack’s scoop that private bank Coutts, part of the NatWest Group, rejected Nigel Farage as a customer not because of his political views but for a supposed lack of funds, then it’s hard to see how she will last in her job to the end of the week.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Rose sat next to Jack at a charity dinner the night before he published his story. At the time of writing, neither had responded to questions about what they’d discussed.

Certainly, the Coutts dossier that Farage has managed to obtain after submitting a legal request seems to make a mockery of Jack’s story. According to the minutes of a meeting of the Coutts Wealth Reputational Risk committee on November 17 last year, management was explicitly getting rid of Farage as a customer not because he’d done something illegal or wasn’t sufficiently wealthy, but rather because they deemed his ‘views’ unpalatable. 

‘The committee did not think continuing to bank NF [Farage] was compatible with Coutts given his publicly-stated views that were at odds with our position as an inclusive organisation’, the minutes read. ‘This was not a political decision, but one centred around inclusivity and purpose’.

With Farage’s spectacular debunking of his debanking, the long-awaited backlash is now underway 

It is objectively very funny, is it not, to exclude someone on the grounds of ‘inclusivity’. Equally funny is the claim that targeting Farage for his ‘views’ was ‘not a political decision’.

Speaking as someone who has written more than their fair share of corporate gobbledygook – as a speechwriter I’ve worked closely with numerous FTSE CEOs – I consider myself fully versed in the torturous language big western businesses now use while attempting bloodlessly to appear human.

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