June 20, 2024

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Ex-NatWest CEO breached data laws during Farage account scandal

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The UK Information Commissioner’s Office has found that former NatWest chief executive Alison Rose twice breached data protection laws when she spoke to a journalist about the closure of Nigel Farage’s bank account.

In a ruling seen by the Financial Times on Wednesday, the ICO concluded that Rose inappropriately shared Farage’s personal data in an inaccurate way. The report comes at an especially sensitive time for NatWest’s board, which meets on Thursday ahead of the publication of its third-quarter results the following day.

The ICO confirmed the details of the report and said in a statement: “We have been clear with the bank that these actions were unacceptable and should not happen again.

“However, in view of the fact the individual in question resigned her post and the bank has commissioned its own investigation, we do not intend to take any further regulatory action at this time.”

Directors have yet to decide whether Rose will be eligible to receive £2.4mn of pay due to her under her 12-month notice period, as well as any bonuses on top. Farage has persistently criticised the board’s inaction, previously calling it a “sick joke” that the bank continues to pay her.

“The ICO report confirms that Dame Alison Rose was in breach of data rules, of the FCA rule book and oversaw a culture of deep political prejudice at NatWest,” Farage told the FT.

NatWest did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In July, the former leader of the UK Independence and Brexit parties led a successful campaign to force Rose to step down and for a regulatory review into the “debanking” of politicians in the UK.

He also complained to the ICO after it was reported that Rose had confirmed to the BBC that he was a client of NatWest’s wealth management arm, Coutts. She later admitted to misleading the reporter into thinking that…



2023-10-25 12:50:05

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