Emily Maitlis Slams Nigel Farage For Turning 'Entitlement Into Victimhood' In Banking Row

"No one was shutting him down, no one was stopping him from banking, no one was calling him names."
Emily Maitlis laid into Nigel Farage over his row with Coutts
Emily Maitlis laid into Nigel Farage over his row with Coutts
News Agents/Getty

Emily Maitlis just laid into Nigel Farage for turning his row with private bank Coutts into a national conversation.

The News Agent host and former BBC broadcaster tore into the Brexiteer after he announced that Coutts, owned by NatWest, had shut his account.

He claimed it was due to his political views, although NatWest’s then-chief Dame Alison Rose then spoke to the BBC, suggesting it was actually a commercial reason – a conversation which sparked additional concerns about customer confidentiality.

The BBC subsequently apologised for inaccurate reporting after a Coutts report revealed it did consider Farage’s divisive political views when closing his account.

Dame Alison then resigned after No.10 and 11 Downing Street reportedly expressed concerns about the future of her role.

But, Maitlis tore apart any arguments that Farage has made about banks becoming politicised when speaking on the News Agents podcast on Wednesday.

She said: “If you put to one side the leaking of customer confidentiality, which we probably all agree was egregious, I think the one thing we’ve learnt from all of this is how to whip up a populist storm.”

She pointed out that the drama essentially comes down to one private bank saying no to one private customer who they decided ”wasn’t bringing them in enough money”.

Coutts is known for its rich and famous clients (including members of the Royal Family), and customers need to have savings of £3 million or to borrow or invest at least £1 million to bank with them.

Maitlis added that Farage was offered him another account with a high street bank, but he declined.

She pointed out: “Farage made it an argument about free speech, about liberty, about censorship, when it wasn’t – no one was shutting him down, no one was stopping him from banking, no one was calling him names.”

Maitlis said Coutts had decided ahead of time to close his accounts once his mortgage ended.

“It’s not a public utility, it’s not electricity – it’s a posh, private bank, it’s in the name,” she added.

“But the power of the populist is to somehow turn utter entitlement into victimhood and that is quite the move.”

Maitlis isn’t the only person to criticise the response to Farage’s banking row either.

After Dame Alison’s resignation, MoneySavingExpert’s Martin Lewis tweeted: “A thought... UK banks deliberately, systemically, missold, by script, over £40bn of PPI, ripping money out of the hands of the public including many vulnerable people – no bank CEO resigned.”

He said he hoped “the standard of accountability set today” continues for “all scandals going forward”.

Labour MP Stella Creasy also called out the government’s rapid response to the complaints from Farage compared to it’s reaction to protecting Brits from debts with Buy Now Pay Later companies.

She tweeted: “If only this government would apply the same haste and attention to helping those struggling with these legal loan sharks. We urgently need regulation and yet no action being taken to help millions of people struggling with BNPL debt without any protection.”


What's Hot