Nigel Farage will reap revenge on ‘woke bank warriors’ - and it’s all Coutts’ fault

Banks are now ‘woke warriors’, according to Nigel Farage, and they only have themselves to blame

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The goalposts are shifting in the culture war. So much so, to allow room for woke banks, apparently. Yes, banks are now ‘woke warriors’, according to Nigel Farage in an article written for the Telegraph on Wednesday (July 26).

The former UKIP leader has turned his attention to financial institutions after his business account was closed by Coutts at the end of June. The exclusive bank is owned by NatWest and has a minimum wealth requirement of £1 million in investments or at least £3 million in savings.

After being turned away from multiple banks, Farage decided he was being blocked due to his political views and shared his frustration with his followers on Twitter. “The establishment are trying to force me out of the UK by closing my bank accounts,” he wrote.

He added: “This is serious political persecution at the very highest level of our system.”

It emerged that Farage’s wealth had dipped below the commercial threshold of eligibility for an account but that Coutts did in fact, factor his political views into the decision. An animated summary of the events may read something like…

‘When Nigel came knocking on Coutts’ door to ask why the bank had decided to stop doing business with him, one employee asked Alexa to turn off the light, another hid under the table, next to a Fabergé egg. And the final worker crammed a 40-page document through the letter box labelled ‘To Nigel, here’s 10 things we hate about you’.

Jokes aside, it is undeniable foul play to deny someone a bank based on their political views - unless stated in the T&Cs of course. It is also rather twisted to be secretly compiling evidence about the ‘significant reputational risks’ a person can pose to a business, without being transparent about such a sly vetting process.

Whether you like it or not, there is an opportunity for Farage to engage with voters over the politicisation of banks. In the grand scheme of things, it is a non-issue but one that has been given the breadth and exposure due to the mishaps of Coutts and NatWest.

Nigel Farage said via the Telegraph: “This point also marks the start of a much bigger campaign for me.” It is well documented what Farage does when backed into a corner. The man claimed he was stuck in traffic due to ‘open-door immigration’. Our passports are now blue. And my Erasmus programme was cancelled.

As for banks wanting to ‘woke-wash’ their way to a greater reputation, they should think better about fleecing the same demographic during a cost of living crisis. While bank rates have reached as high as 4.5% in previous months, savers are being hit with interest rates as low as 0.85pc - a measly return.

At the same time, profit margins for banks are barely getting thinner. NatWest Group delivered a strong performance in 2022, with pre-tax profit up more than a third to £5.1 billion.

Nigel Farage will reap revenge on ‘woke bank warriors’. Credit: Rob Stothard/Getty ImagesNigel Farage will reap revenge on ‘woke bank warriors’. Credit: Rob Stothard/Getty Images
Nigel Farage will reap revenge on ‘woke bank warriors’. Credit: Rob Stothard/Getty Images

The two executives who have stepped down following the Farrage vs Coutts saga aren’t struggling either. While former Coutts CEO Peter Flavel’s pay isn’t publicly disclosed, it is understood he may have earnt between £1.5m and £2m a year.

Dame Alison Rose, who stepped down as Chief Executive Director of NatWest amid the scandal, also took home a total pay packet of £5.25 million, including a massive bonus reward worth £2.82 million.