- NatWest bosses face call from Nigel Farage to suspend staff joking about him
Bosses at NatWest were last night facing calls from Nigel Farage to suspend staff who joked about wanting to ‘throw a milkshake’ at him.
In the latest twist in the debanking row, a bombshell document revealed how staff privately boasted about having potentially ‘driven him out of the country’.
Another message said they would ‘pay’ to be the person who told him he was not welcome to use the firm.
They were reported by GB News last night after Mr Farage, a presenter on the channel, submitted a subject access request to NatWest for all the information the bank holds on him.
Angry: Nigel Farage calls for inquiry over debanking row with Coutts bank
In one conversation, according to GB News, a bank staffer said: ‘I’d throw a milkshake at him if I was approached to open an account for him [sic].’
Another referred to a BBC article about Mr Farage having his bank account closed and said: ‘Hope that knocked him down a peg or 2 [sic].’ Another, which appears to be part of a WhatsApp group, said: ‘Have you all seen Nigel Farage’s twitter? No one will bank him now. Have we single handedly drive NF out of the country?![sic]’
And one staff member suggested Mr Farage had ‘dodgy Russian connections’, which he has vehemently denied. He was also described as ‘sketchy’ and workers referred to him as a ‘crackpot’ and an ‘awful human being’. Mr Farage claims he was turned down by ten other banks for an account amid the scandal.
Mr Farage lost his account at Coutts, whose clients include members of the Royal Family, after an internal report said his views did not align with the bank’s values and he was ‘transphobic’.
The row led to the resignation of NatWest boss Dame Alison Rose after she falsely told a journalist Mr Farage’s views had not been a factor in the loss of his account. This week the board of the bank, which is 38.6 per cent owned by the taxpayer, will meet to discuss her exit package. But last night Mr Farage told the Mail that it was the ‘woke’ culture under Dame Alison’s leadership which contributed to the ‘vile’ comments by staff.
The former Ukip and Brexit Party leader was dropped in June by Coutts, a private bank owned by NatWest, over his views
He called for her to be stripped of any bonuses, adding: ‘This is NatWest head office, this isn’t just a local branch. These were the people working directly under Dame Alison Rose.
‘I think that people working within an organisation that is heavily state-owned, should just not be behaving in this highly politicised, prejudicial manner.
‘And yes, I think there should be staff suspensions and there must be another inquiry about how on earth people at NatWest are allowed to behave like this.
‘I can’t imagine people anywhere else being allowed to talk about their customers in this way. After the Coutts stuff it was difficult to believe that anything could be worse, but this is.’
Mr Farage has since switched to Lloyds Bank. A NatWest Group spokesman said: ‘We have written to Mr Farage to apologise sincerely for the deeply inappropriate comments and the poor behaviours. Neither are consistent with the standards of service our clients should expect.’
He added an independent review has been commissioned into recent events and the findings will be published as soon as possible.