Woke cancel culture the ultimate loser in the Farage ‘de-banking’ scandal

Founded in 1692, Coutts & Co is the eighth oldest bank in the world and has served luminaries from Charles Dickens to the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Part of the NatWest Group, the boutique lender has plenty of reputation to lose. And lose it did this month in the Nigel Farage ‘de-banking’ scandal.

Not one but two executive heads have now rolled, with NatWest CEO Alison Rose quitting Wednesday, and Coutts’ own CEO Peter Flavel stepping down a day later.

The saga has captured the attention of the UK political and media class, not least because NatWest Group is 39-percent-owned by the British Crown.

The saga first made headlines when late last month, Farage announced via X, formerly Twitter:

The establishment are trying to force me out of the UK by closing my bank accounts.

I have been given no explanation or recourse as to why this is happening to me.

This is serious political persecution at the very highest level of our system.

If they can do it to me, they can do it to you too.

Farage was particularly upset that his bank of more than 40 years had leaked his personal information to the BBC. The state broadcaster’s Business Editor Simon Jack reported (inaccurately, it turned out) that Farage “fell below the financial threshold required to hold an account at Coutts”.

Shockingly, on attempting to set up an account elsewhere, Farage was rebuffed by nine separate banks.

From the start, it was obvious enough to cancel culture connoisseurs that the Brexit leader was being unceremoniously dumped by Coutts for holding political views that offend the hoity-toity.

Nevertheless, the British public endured a predictable weeks-long narrative that progressed from, “This isn’t political; the banks are just following regulations,” to “Farage is losing his account because he’s too poor,” to “Okay, it was politically motivated but Farage deserved it because he’s evil,” to “poor Alison Rose is a victim of the patriarchy”.



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Of course, Alison Rose eventually came clean as the one who leaked Farage’s private details to the BBC. And Coutts confessed Farage’s account was commercially viable.

In fact, in a 40-page memo Coutts eventually provided to Farage justifying the bank’s decision to oust him, they mentioned Brexit” 86 times, “Russia” 144 times and “PEP” [Politically Exposed Person] 10 times.

Farage’s support for Donald Trump, and his views on immigration, net zero and Covid-19 vaccines were likewise cited as reasons for him to be de-banked.

In short, Coutts’ wealth ‘reputational risk committee’ had simply decided the values of Nigel Farage did not align with their own.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was among the many MPs to weigh in on the scandal, declaring it “wouldn’t be right if financial services were being denied to anyone exercising their right to lawful free speech”.

In the days since, NatWest has seen its share price plunge by 3 per cent.

But the ultimate loser in the Farage de-banking scandal is woke cancel culture.

In what Spiked has dubbed “the corporate war on dissent”, one of the UK’s most powerful institutions has rent itself asunder on a Brit brave enough to poke the woke bear.

So-called progressives who once stood for freedom have the most egg on their faces. As level-headed commentator Konstantin Kisin quipped, “From Occupy Wall Street to Debank My Political Opponents in a decade. Impressive.”

Be encouraged that losses for tyrant-wannabes are wins for lovers of freedom.

The Farage saga provides a glimmer of hope that cancel culture is finally facing some accountability on a grand scale.

“If they can do it to me,” Farage warned a month ago, “they can do it to you too.”

But they didn’t get away with their dirty little tricks.

And the best part of all: the whole world was watching.


Kurt Mahlburg is a writer and author, and an emerging Australian voice on culture and the Christian faith. He has a passion for both the philosophical and the personal, drawing on his background as a graduate architect, a primary school teacher, a missionary, and a young adult pastor.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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