Nigel Farage's Bank Account Closure at Coutts Bank
- 20 July, 2023
Most people in the developed world have bank accounts. We use these bank accounts daily; to purchase coffee, pay bills, get around, meet friends, etc. We spend money, we need money and money is a nice convenience. Given that money is an essence of modern life, a basic question comes to mind “do I control my money”? If so “can I enforce my authority over my money”. In Nigel Farage’s case the answer is no.
Coutts Bank Closed Nigel Farage’s Account
On June 29, Nigel Farage, the former leader of the Brexit Party, posted a tweet about his account closure at Coutts Bank by the authorities. According to Farage, the reason for the closure was his political background and affiliations. Farage claimed that this was an act of "serious political persecution" staged by the establishment.
Coutts Bank is a private bank catering to wealthy clients and the bank authority defended the claims stating that Farage’s account was closed as the funds in the account went below the limits set by the Bank. Coutts expects its clients to maintain at least £1M in investments, borrowing, or £3M in savings.
According to Farage, when he tried to get an alternative bank account he faced rejections from nine other banks for being classified as a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) under money laundering regulations.
After continuous harassment, Farage finally disclosed his intention to wage a legal battle against the banking system.
Farage also revealed that after his voice became louder about Coutts Bank’s unfair action, the bank offered him a normal account at NatWest owned by Coutts.
Nigel Farage is not alone
Recently, Customers at numerous banks have observed similar kinds of experiences. In the series of events, another victim, Christina Jordan, a former Brexit Party MEP, also shared a parallel experience. Her bank account with Nationwide Building Society was also dismissed for invalid reasons.
The reason put forward by the Nationwide Building Society for Christina Jordan’s bank account closure was that it was "business sensitive." The provided explanation was that the decision to close all accounts was in compliance with their legal and regulatory obligations. Unfortunately, they were unable to provide further details regarding the specific reason for the closure.
Banks' sudden actions against Nigel Farage and other former members of the Brexit Party also exhibit financial complications with the present banking system for political figures. While banks may claim their decisions are based on business or regulatory factors, the repeated rejections hint at a coordinated effort.
Decentralization and Self-Custody is the Future
Bitcoin and Ethereum, are decentralized banking networks. These platforms offer self- custody for assets. These networks offer a viable alternative to the traditional banking system as users hold complete control over their funds, offering a solution to the issues highlighted in Farage's case.
In decentralized banking, custody of the funds is in the hands of the user, as they hold the private keys which provides access to their funds. This is known as self-custody. Self- custody, via Blockchain technology, ensures transparency, immutability, and security. Through decentralized finance (dApps), users can access a wide range of financial services, including lending, borrowing, trading, and investment.
Furthermore, complex financial contracts can be written in the form of “Smart Contracts” on the blockchain, which are transparent and inclusive. Transparency means that the terms of the contracts are publicly accessible, not hidden behind centrally controlled servers (such as those in banks). As well, the contracts themselves are inclusive. No centralized authority can arbitrarily close accounts or deny services based on racial, geographical, political, or economic standing in decentralized banking networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.