It’s a bad day to be Coutts’ PR team. Since Nigel Farage revealed his account had been closed for political reasons and not, as reported credulously by the BBC and others a little too gleefully, because Farage fell below the wealth threshold, the bank has been on the receiving end of a harsh backlash. At PMQs today, the issue was bought up by both Jacob Rees-Mogg and David Davis, and Norman Lamont has secured a question in the Lords. The government is also not sitting idly by: Suella slammed the “sinister” decision and said she would review relevant Home Office policy, whilst the Prime Minister had a reassuring response to Rees-Mogg’s question:
“It wouldn’t be right if financial services were being denied to anyone exercising their right to lawful free speech. Our new Financial Services and Markets Act puts in place new measures to ensure that politically exposed persons are being treated in an appropriate and proportionate manner. And having consulted on the Payment Services Regulations, we are in the process of cracking down on this practice…”
Take it to the bank.