Nigel Farage is to launch a legal battle with NatWest over the closure of his accounts at its private bank subsidiary Coutts. The debanking scandal ultimately led to the resignation of Alison Rose, the chief executive of NatWest, in July and the departure of Peter Flavel, the chief executive of Coutts, soon after.
The former leader of Ukip and the Brexit party said he is instructing lawyers to take action against NatWest, with the aim of turning it into a class action.
An independent review into the decision to close Farage’s accounts found that although there were “serious failings” in NatWest’s treatment of the former politician, the decision was lawful. Farage responded by calling the report a “whitewash”.
On Friday, the board of NatWest said that it had scrapped £7.6m in potential payouts to Rose. The company said that although there had been no finding of misconduct against Rose, good leaver status was not applicable under the relevant share plan rules.
Posting an image of a Sky News story announcing the legal move, Farage wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “NatWest must be held accountable.” It has been reported that Farage has instructed London-based law firm Grosvenor Law to act for him and will begin the legal battle next week.
According to Sky News, an unnamed source said Farage could seek millions over the damage to his reputation and to cover his legal costs. In a statement issued to the news channel on Saturday morning, Farage said: “For all their lies and deceptions towards me, and their illegitimate debanking of tens of thousands of innocent people, NatWest and its former CEO, Dame Alison Rose, need to be held to account.”
Reports say Farage will join the lineup of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! He had previously ruled out an appearance, saying the reality show was “humiliating”, but had confirmed he was considering joining the show as he said ITV had offered him “substantial sums of money” to take part.
A spokesperson for the programme said: “Any names suggested for I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! are just speculation. We’ll announce our lineup in due course.”