Coutts Boss Second Exec to Resign Over Farage Debacle

Peter Flavel has resigned with immediate effect, citing the need for someone to take "ultimate responsibility", even though someone already has

Alliance News 27 July, 2023 | 3:24PM
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Coutts boss Peter Flavel has stepped down with immediate effect following the Nigel Farage debanking scandal, parent NatWest has said.

 Interim boss, Paul Thwaite, said the resignation was agreed by mutual consent and is the "right decision for Coutts and the wider group".

Flavel is expected to be replaced by Mohammad Kamal Syed, who is currently the head of asset management at the bank, on an interim basis until a permanent successor is found.

The high-net-worth bank has been at the centre of a row sparked by former UKIP leader Farage, after he said his account was shut down because it did not agree with his political views. The debacle ultimately led to the resignation of NatWest's own chief executive Alison Rose in the early hours of Wednesday.

Flavel said: "I am exceptionally proud of my seven years at Coutts and I want to thank the team that have built it into such a high-performing business.

"In the handling of Farage's case we have fallen below the bank's high standards of personal service. As chief executive of Coutts it is right that I bear ultimate responsibility for this, which is why I am stepping down."

Syed, meanwhile, is the "ideal person to lead Coutts through this difficult time", the banking group said.

Rose's departure earlier in the week came after she had admitted to a "serious error of judgment" by discussing with a BBC journalist Farage's relationship with Coutts.

Farage had originally presented evidence that his account with Coutts had been closed partly due to his political beliefs conflicting with the bank's values.

In the wake of the allegations ministers moved to introduce a number of reforms amid concerns that people were being denied crucial banking services because of their politics.

Farage had previously tweeted it was "only a matter of time" before Flavel stepped down, adding that he had written to the banking boss twice before going public, to no avail. 

NatWest shares fell 1.2% to 239.00 pence each in London on Thursday afternoon.

With additional reporting by Ollie Smith, UK Editor, Morningstar

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