UK watchdog finds potential NatWest ‘regulatory breaches’ in Farage fiasco

By Iain Withers

LONDON (Reuters) – British watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority said on Friday that it had identified potential “regulatory breaches” in NatWest’s handling of a decision to close former Brexit party leader Nigel Farage’s accounts.

The lender separately said on Friday that an initial review into the ‘debanking’ of Farage found shortcomings in the bank’s treatment of him, and that the bank would implement all of the report’s recommendations.

NatWest said it would disclose a decision on whether to dock its former CEO Alison Rose’s pay over the matter “as soon as possible”.

The British bank commissioned law firm Travers Smith in July to conduct a review of its decision to close Farage’s account, a move that led to a political backlash and ultimately cost CEO Alison Rose her job after a more than 30-year career at the lender.

“This report, and additional information we have considered, has highlighted potential regulatory breaches and a number of areas for improvement,” the FCA said in a statement, adding it was reviewing the firm’s governance, systems and controls.

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn and Iain Withers, editing by Lawrence White)