Nigel Farage’s bank account was closed because he didn’t have enough money.
The BBC was told that Nigel Farage didn’t have enough money to open an account at Coutts, a well-known private bank for the rich.
People say that after that, NatWest, which owns Coutts, gave him an offer for a regular account.
Last week, Mr. Farage said he thought his account was being closed because of politics, and when he went to seven other lenders, he was turned down.
But people who knew about Coutts’s choice said it was a “commercial” one.
“The bank’s website makes it clear who can have a Coutts account,” they told the BBC.
Coutts needs its customers to have at least £1 million in loans, investments, or savings.
Mr. Farage told the BBC from France that he didn’t meet Coutts’s requirements, but he also said, “They haven’t had a problem with it for the last 10 years.”
The bank did not want to say anything about Mr. Farage’s account.
The former leader of the UK Independence Party and a Brexit supporter recently shared a six-minute video on Twitter in which he said that the anti-Brexit banking industry was behind “serious political persecution” against him.
He said that losing his bank account was like being a “non-person” and that the decision might “fundamentally affect my future career and whether I can even stay living here in this country.”
Banks told people not to close accounts because of politics. Mr. Farage told the BBC that he didn’t believe he was offered a NatWest account when his Coutts accounts were closed. He says that the offer to open an account with NatWest came late last week.
The offer of a NatWest account is still good, the BBC knows.
Mr. Farage says he has tried to open an account with a number of other banks but was turned down because he is a “Politically Exposed Person” (PEP).
A PEP is usually a higher risk for financial institutions because officials think that their position and the power they may have make them more likely to be involved in bribery and corruption.
People who know how NatWest thinks argued that this is not why his Coutts account was shut down. Mr. Farage said to the BBC, “Are you telling me that all the other banks say it was a PEP thing, but Coutts didn’t?”
Mr. Farage also said that his business account was going to be closed, even though he had what he called “large, significant positive cash balances” in it last year.
users who are not also private users can’t get business banking services from Coutts.