Alison Rose

Alison Rose doesn’t deserve a huge NatWest payout

When I wrote in July that Dame Alison Rose’s forced exit as chief executive of NatWest in the wake of the Nigel Farage scandal was ‘unnecessary’, many readers vehemently disagreed with me. Out she went, Treasury ministers having steamrollered the NatWest board’s brief attempt to hold her in post – and a subsequent Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) report concluded she had breached data protection laws by revealing to the BBC that Farage had been a customer of the Coutts arm of NatWest and adding the misleading suggestion that his accounts had been closed for purely commercial reasons. Bang to rights, then. Rose should forfeit the £10 million to which she’s

Letters: why AI may be a force for good

Parris review Sir: Matthew Parris (‘Coutts, Farage and the trouble with choice’, 29 July) omitted to mention the initial, fundamental and obvious matter of the breach of client confidentiality committed by Dame Alison Rose, who he says should not have resigned. This is surely the gravest offence any bank official – let alone the head of NatWest – can commit. Yet he puts her resignation down to a ‘silly media storm’, which was actually started by the BBC, to whom the client information was given. Further, his article relates mostly to the discretion which institutions such as banks have in choosing who to admit. But this issue wasn’t about a client’s

Coutts has forgotten what the job of a bank is

We now have a reluctant apology from Dame Alison Rose, followed by her even more reluctant resignation. Her departure is a major achievement, but the reluctance is a symptom of the problem. How could she possibly have thought she could stay after she was caught breaking a client’s confidentiality and spreading untruths about him (untruths which the BBC checked with her before publishing)? How could her chairman, Sir Howard Davies, have possibly thought that she could? And still we have nothing from Coutts, the bank that tried to trash Nigel Farage in the first place. Coutts is a B Corp, meaning a corporation which signs up to the commandments of

Portrait of the Week: NatWest, fires in Greece and Twitter’s new look 

Home Dame Alison Rose resigned as the chief executive of the NatWest group, which owns Coutts bank. She had been the source of a BBC report that Nigel Farage’s account at Coutts had been closed because it no longer met the bank’s financial requirements. Dame Alison also apologised to Mr Farage for ‘deeply inappropriate’ comments in a Coutts dossier on him which showed his account had been closed because of his political views. Her resignation came only after No. 10 had expressed ‘significant concerns’ about her remaining as the board wanted. The volume of goods sold by Unilever fell by 2.5 per cent in the first half of the year,

Toby Young

Why Barbie deserves the backlash

Being the CEO of a massive corporation isn’t easy. You’re expected to grow the company, increase profits and boost the share price – the traditional responsibilities of a top hat-wearing capitalist. But at the same time, you need to align your company with the ‘values’ of a hyper-liberal global elite, e.g. anti-racism, trans rights and net zero. Contrary to the rhetoric of business school professors and management consultants, these agendas don’t always complement each other, and too much emphasis on one risks alienating those who care about the other. Get it wrong and you can come a cropper, as Dame Alison Rose, the recently departed CEO of NatWest, has discovered.

Matthew Parris

In defence of Coutts

Dame Alison Rose should not have resigned as head of NatWest over the Nigel Farage affair – and ministers who forced this by flinching in the face of a silly media storm should be ashamed of themselves. In the great Coutts debate this columnist finds himself in a minority. I express no opinion on the wisdom or otherwise of the private bank’s decision to drop Farage as a client, believing this to be a private matter between himself and Coutts. I’ll pose a number of questions, but first there’s something we must get out of the way. Whether or not Coutts was wise to exclude Farage, a bank like this

Martin Vander Weyer

Dame Alison’s ousting lifts the lid on banking’s wider moral pickle

When Dame Alison Rose was a frontrunner for chief executive of NatWest in 2019, I described her as ‘sensible’ and ‘unspun’ and said I hoped she’d get the job. That view was based partly on personal impression and partly on a prejudice of mine, expressed consistently since the 2008 crisis, that women often make better senior bankers than men, being less prone to macho risk-taking. Rose has now yielded to political pressure and resigned over her role in the false reporting of the decision to ‘exit’ Nigel Farage as a customer of NatWest’s subsidiary, Coutts. But this column has never been in the business of following the baying crowd in