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Coutts CEO resigns over Nigel Farage row

Peter Flavel has stepped down from private bank Coutts, bearing “ultimate responsibility”.

Coutts Peter Flavel

Peter Flavel/Coutts.

Coutts CEO Peter Flavel has stepped down from the private bank with immediate effect over the “mishandling” of Nigel Farage’s bank account closure.

His resignation comes less than 48 hours after his boss, CEO of NatWest Alison Rose, stepped down over the same debacle.

Flavel, who has been with the bank since 2016, stepped down by “mutual consent”, NatWest’s acting CEO Paul Thwaite said in a statement.

Thwaite has taken over the role from Rose for the next 12 months while the bank searches for a permanent replacement.

“In the handling of Mr Farage’s case we have fallen below the bank’s high standards of personal service,” Flavel said. 

“As CEO of Coutts it is right that I bear ultimate responsibility for this, which is why I am stepping down.”

Rose resigned on Wednesday over the growing row that began when the former Ukip leader’s bank accounts were closed by Coutts a few months ago.

Farage accessed documents that showed there were not just commercial reasons for closing his account — as Rose incorrectly told a BBC journalist — but that his alleged “xenophobic, chauvinistic and racist views” also posed a risk to the bank and its reputation.

Rose has since apologised to Farage over the blunder and the BBC has rectified its article.

“While I will be personally sorry to lose Peter as a colleague, I believe this is the right decision for Coutts and the wider group,” Thwaite said.

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