igel Farage has claimed he has obtained documents showing prestigious private bank Coutts decided to close his account because his views “do not align with our values”.
The former leader of the UK Independence Party (Ukip) said he got hold of a report from the bank’s reputational risk committee used to justify the closure via a subject access request.
Writing in The Telegraph, he said: “I believe Coutts targeted me on personal and political grounds, for its report reads rather like a pre-trial brief drawn up by the prosecution in a case against a career criminal.”
The report mentioned his comments about Brexit, his friendship with tennis star Novak Djokovic and a perception that he was regarded as “racist and xenophobic”, he said.
“The most extraordinary comments of all are the areas of the report talking about me ‘not aligning with (Coutts’s) views’ and suggesting I must be barred because I do not support the diversity, policies and ‘purpose’ of Coutts, as though Britain is a political regime and I am a dissident,” Mr Farage wrote.
The BBC had previously suggested the Brexit leader fell below the financial threshold needed to hold an account with Coutts.
Coutts requires its customers to borrow or invest at least £1 million or save at least £3 million, according to an eligibility questionnaire on its website.
But Mr Farage insisted the bank’s move “had nothing to do with my finances” and that the report found his funds were “sufficient to retain on a commercial basis”.
Mr Farage going public about his account being shut earlier this month prompted a debate about the issue.
Rishi Sunak said at the time that banks should not be allowed to close customers’ accounts because of their views.
The Prime Minister said the right to free speech had to be respected “and that should not be an excuse to close anyone’s account”.