BBC apologises to Nigel Farage over 'inaccurate' reporting of Coutts bank account closure

The BBC and its business editor have issued an apology to the former UKIP leader. Credit: PA

A senior BBC journalist has apologised to Nigel Farage over how he and the broadcaster reported the closure of his Coutts bank account, admitting the coverage was inaccurate.

The BBC's business editor Simon Jack made the apology after a published story suggested Mr Farage had his account shut down for failing to meet the private bank's wealth threshold.

Mr Farage later acquired dossiers, not seen by ITV News, that appeared to support claims his account was closed because his political views did 'not align' with Coutts.

Tweeting on Monday, Simon Jack said: "The information on which we based our reporting on Nigel Farage and his bank accounts came from a trusted and senior source.

"However, the information turned out to be incomplete and inaccurate. Therefore I would like to apologise to Mr Farage."

It comes as City minister Andrew Griffith summoned bank chiefs for a meeting to discuss how customers can be protected from "being de-banked".

The BBC has also issued an apology to Mr Farage, confirming that the original copy has since been updated.

The corporation added: "We acknowledge that the information we reported - that Coutts' decision on Mr Farage's account did not involve considerations about his political views - turned out not to be accurate and have apologised to Mr Farage."

Last week, the Natwest Group's CEO, which owns Coutts, also issued an apology to the former UKIP leader.

Dame Alison Rose told Mr Farage "it is absolutely not our policy to exit a customer on the basis of legally held political and personal views", after a raft of senior Tories voiced their anger at the bank's alleged conduct.

The saga even forced the Treasury to draw-up plans to toughen up the rules that banks must follow when closing customer accounts, in a bid to protect free speech.

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