26 July 2023

Timeline of events which led to Dame Alison Rose quitting as NatWest boss

26 July 2023

NatWest boss Dame Alison Rose has resigned after admitting she was the source of an inaccurate story about Nigel Farage’s finances.

The resignation follows days of pressure on the banking group’s leadership following a dispute over whether Mr Farage’s bank account at prestigious private bank Coutts was closed because of his political views.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how the story has unfolded:

– June 29

Nigel Farage claims his bank accounts have been closed. He said the unnamed banking group, which he has been with since 1980, told him it was a commercial decision.

– July 4

The BBC publishes an article suggesting the former Ukip leader fell below the financial threshold needed to hold an account with Coutts.

Mr Farage accuses Coutts of being “dishonest” amid a dispute over whether his bank account was closed because of his political views.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said banks should not be allowed to close customers’ accounts because of their views.

– July 18

Mr Farage said he has obtained documents showing Coutts decided to close his account because his views “do not align with our values”.

– July 20

NatWest chief executive Dame Alison Rose apologises to Mr Farage for “deeply inappropriate comments” in papers that were prepared for the Wealth Reputation Risk Committee and said they “do not reflect the view of the bank”.

The Treasury announces UK banks will be subject to stricter rules over closing customers’ accounts.

– July 21

The BBC amends a story about Mr Farage’s Coutts bank account after coming under fire from the politician for suggesting he lacked the funds needed to hold an account.

– July 24

The BBC and its business editor Simon Jack apologise to Mr Farage for previously suggesting he lacked the funds needed to hold an account at Coutts, which is owned by NatWest Group.

– July 25

An emergency board meeting at NatWest is called to determine Dame Alison’s future.

– July 26

Dame Alison resigns from her position in the early hours. Earlier, she said she made a “serious error of judgment” when she discussed Mr Farage’s relationship with Coutts with a BBC journalist.

No 10 says Dame Alison is no longer a member of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s business council after her resignation as NatWest’s chief executive.

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