Farage allies accuse banks of ‘political ethnic cleansing’ after accounts closed

Nigel Farage’s Brexit partners have claimed “woke” banks forced the closure of their accounts as part of a campaign of “political ethnic cleansing”.

Their explosive allegations come in the wake of the Coutts scandal, which saw the former Brexit Party MEP booted out by the Royal bankers for his political views.

Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore helped bankroll Farage’s Leave Campaign, while Richard Tice was a co-founder of the Brexit Party and is now the leader of Reform UK.

Banks, who helped set up Leave.EU, claimed Barclays closed his accounts because of his support for Brexit.

He said the closure of his accounts happened not long after he and Wigmore met then-US President Donald Trump in Washington in 2018.

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The insurance tycoon added that his ex-wife and his brother’s law firm had also been affected.

His sidekick Wigmore said he was on holiday last year when his NatWest accounts and those of his wife and children were frozen.

“Howard Davies [the NatWest chairman] and Alison Rose seem to have presided over a regime of political ethnic cleansing,” he said.

“Had I not had some very good friends to help me, my family would have been absolutely screwed.”

Both Banks and Wigmore came under scrutiny after investigators launched a probe into possible Russian interference in the 2016 EU referendum.

Tice, a TalkTV presenter, said Metro bank closed Reform’s business account in 2021.

The following year, he claimed his consultancy’s business account was also closed by the financial technology company Tide.

The Reform UK boss said: “This is a defining moment — you are now seeing the revenge of the right against the woke.”

NatWest CEO Alison Rise was forced to resign her position after she admitted to being the source for a misleading BBC story, claiming Farage’s eviction from Coutts was due to financial reasons.

NatWest owns Coutts which requires its clients to hold at least £3million in savings, or borrow or invest a minimum of £1million with the bank.

However, Farage was able to obtain an internal bank document through a subject access request that showed he was booted out for his political views.

Banks have also moved against Remainers, forcing the closure of accounts connected to the prominent anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller.

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The businesswoman took the government to court to stop Brexit being passed without a parliamentary vote.

She claimed that several weeks ago the online bank Monzo closed accounts belonging to her political party.

When confronted by Miller, the bank said it could not “share the specific reason” while referring vaguely to its “legal and regulatory responsibilities”.

“This is an alarming situation,” she said. “what you have got is a completely overzealous banking system who are misinterpreting or over-interpreting the politically exposed persons legislation.”

Metro Bank said that it could not comment on individual cases but that it was a politically neutral company.

Tide said it could not comment on individual accounts.

Barclays said that it adhered to its legal obligations and that it would only close an account “in exceptional circumstances”.

Monzo said that it did not provide business accounts to political parties and that it had accepted Miller’s account by mistake.

NatWest said it could not comment on specific cases and is reviewing account closures.

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