Farage claims he's being 'pushed out of UK' as people are 'trying to close his bank accounts'
It turns out, after all the fuss around Nigel Farage and bank accounts, the GB News host and former Ukip leader actually had his account closed because he wasn’t “rich enough” to meet the threshold required by the bank in question.
Suggesting “the establishment” were attempting to “force” him out of the UK by closing his bank accounts – despite previously working in the City of London – shared lengthy monologues on Twitter and his GB News show last week, even going as far as to wonder whether the UK is “akin to communist China” simply because he was denied a bank account.
Mr Farage said in a Twitter video posted on Thursday: “I got a phone call a couple of months ago [from the bank], to say ‘we are closing your accounts’, I asked why, no reason was given. I was told a letter would come which would explain everything.
“The latter came through and simply said, ‘we are closing your accounts, we want to finish it all by a date which is around about now.
“A lackey phoned me to say that it was a ‘commercial decision’, which I have to say, I don’t believe for a single moment.
“I’ve been to … seven banks, actually, and asked them all if I can have a personal and a business account and the answer has been no in every single case.”
The former MEP went on to add that there was nothing “irregular or unusual” about his work, that he has a “big, positive cash balance”, and contested claims he had received money from sources linked to the Russian government.
In the text accompanying the six-minute clip, Mr Farage wrote: “This is serious political persecution at the very highest level of our system. If they can do it to me, they can do it to you too.”
Although the broadcaster decided not to name the bank in question, it was revealed by the BBC’s business editor Simon Jack on Tuesday, when he reported that the “prestigious” banking firm Coutts – part of the NatWest Group – had said Mr Farage “fell below the financial threshold” required to have an account with them.
Coutts’ website states prospective customers must have “at least £1m in investments or borrowing” - such as a mortgage – or “£3m in savings” to set up an account with them.
Mr Farage confirmed he was offered a NatWest personal account in a new Twitter video, but added this only came after his videos posted last week.
In comments made to the BBC, Mr Farage did not dispute the claim he did not meet the threshold, but argued “they didn’t have a problem with it for the last 10 years”.
Nevertheless, the actual reason why Coutts decided to close his accounts is quite different to the ex-politician’s initial suggestion that it was some plot by the “establishment” – and the contrast has since sparked ridicule:
The new information about the whole saga comes after the Daily Mail’s front page on Tuesday carried the headline “Banks face probe into ‘chilling’ account closures”, Tory MPs David Davis and Tom Tugendhat discussed it in the Commons, and a Treasury source said they “expect to take action on this issue within weeks”.
“No one should have their bank account denied on the grounds of freedom of expression,” they told the Daily Telegraph.
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