BBC Reporter Simon Jack Apologises To Nigel Farage After Bank Story Row

The broadcaster’s business editor says the information his reporting was based on "turned out to be incomplete and inaccurate".
Nigel Farage prompted a debate about so-called “debanking”.
Nigel Farage prompted a debate about so-called “debanking”.
Simon Dawson via Reuters

Nigel Farage has received an apology from the BBC’s Simon Jack has over a story about the Brexiteer’s bank accounts being closed by Coutts.

Jack, the broadcaster’s business editor, had reported that Farage had lost his account at the elite private bank because he lacked the funds needed to hold it.

But the bank later apologised to the the former MEP and one-time UKIP leader after be accessed documents suggesting the decision was more to do with “politics”.

Farage said the bank made the decision because they saw him as “xenophobic and racist” and a former “fascist”.

On Monday, Jack wrote on Twitter: “The information on which we based our reporting on Nigel Farage and his bank accounts came from a trusted and senior source. However the information turned out to be incomplete and inaccurate. Therefore I would like to apologise to Mr Farage.”

Dame Alison Rose, chief executive of NatWest Group, which includes Coutts, last week said sorry to Farage for “deeply inappropriate comments” made about him in official papers, adding she is “commissioning a full review of the Coutts processes” on bank account closures.

The row prompted a debate about so-called “debanking”, with the Treasury announcing last week that banks would have to explain why they were shutting down an account under new rules.

Farage said he had obtained a 40-page document from Coutts after filing a “subject access request” with the bank, to learn more about its rationale for proposing to shut the accounts.

The Telegraph reported minutes of a meeting of Coutts’ wealth reputational risk committee held on November 17 which say: “The committee did not think continuing to bank NF (Nigel Farage) was compatible with Coutts given his publicly-stated views that were at odds with our position as an inclusive organisation.

“This was not a political decision but one centred around inclusivity and purpose.”

Farage claimed that the document showed that he was targeted “on personal and political grounds”, and noted that the word Brexit appeared in the report 86 times.

He wrote last week: “Whoever at Coutts thought it clever to feed friendly media outlets outright lies about me sorely misjudged the situation.”


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