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FCA finds no evidence of customer debanking over political views

The UK regulator is set to release a report soon following the row over Nigel Farage’s Coutts account closure

FCA - Financial Conduct Authority


The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has reportedly found no evidence to show banks are closing or rejecting accounts solely based on their political beliefs.

The UK’s financial regulator launched the preliminary review after former UK leader Nigel Farage sparked a debate on free speech when he claimed his accounts with private bank Coutts were closed because of his political views.

The subsequent row over his “debanking” resulted in the resignation of NatWest CEO Dame Alison Rose and Coutts CEO Peter Flavel.

Other politicians came forward following the scandal complaining about similar treatment from banks and lenders, leading Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to order the FCA to launch an inquiry into whether MPs and other ‘politically exposed persons’ have been impacted by debanking.

A month later, the FCA has found no evidence to suggest that politicians are, in fact, being denied bank accounts because of their political views, as first reported by the Financial Times.

People familiar with the situation told the FT that the FCA will publish its findings in the coming days to show political views were not the “primary reason” for account closures across the 34 banks and payments companies asked to submit data.

“While no bank, building society or payment firm reported to us that they had closed accounts primarily due to someone’s political views, further work is needed for us to be sure,” FCA CEO Nikhil Rathi said.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Farage described the new report as “a whitewash” and “a joke”.

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