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Natwest CEO Alison Rose steps down over Farage account closure revelation

  • 26/07/2023
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Natwest CEO Alison Rose steps down over Farage account closure revelation
The CEO of Natwest Group Alison Rose has stepped down with immediate effect after admitting she was the source behind the BBC’s inaccurate story over Farage’s bank account closure.

The board of directors of Natwest Group announced Rose “has agreed by mutual consent” to step down.

It follows Rose’s revelation that she was the source behind the BBC’s report which alleged Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage was ditched by Coutts – part of the Natwest Group – for not being wealthy enough.

Farage maintained the account closure was due to his political views and said he’d been rejected by other banks, suggesting it could happen to other ordinary savers too.

The fiasco even sparked the Government to announce a clampdown on unfair bank account closures, requiring banks to explain and delay any move to shut an account to “protect freedom of expression”.

It later transpired that the bank noted a “reputational risk” in having Farage as a client, and flagged concerns over his political views.

Last night concerns were raised over Rose’s “breach of customer confidentiality” since the allegations over the account closure came to light.

The Natwest Group Board said it would independently review the issues but pressure mounted on Rose to step down.

‘It is a sad moment’

Howard Davies, chairman of the Natwest Group board, said: “The board and Alison Rose have agreed, by mutual consent, that she will step down as CEO of the Natwest Group. It is a sad moment.

“She has dedicated all her working life so far to Natwest and will leave many colleagues who respect and admire her.”

Rose said: “I remain immensely proud of the progress the bank has made in supporting people, families and business across the UK, and building the foundations for sustainable growth. My Natwest colleagues are central to that success, and so I would like to personally thank them for all that they have done.”

Paul Thwaite – the current CEO of the commercial and institutional business – will take over the responsibilities of leading the group for an initial 12-month period, subject to regulatory approval.


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