The chief executive of NatWest, Dame Alison Rose, resigned after she confessed to being the source of an inaccurate story about Nigel Farage’s expenses.
Downing Street and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt are believed to have “significant concerns” about Dame Alison’s position.
Chairman of the NatWest Group Board Howard Davies issued the following statement: “The Board and Alison Rose have mutually agreed that she will step down as CEO of the NatWest Group. This is a sorrowful time.
She has devoted her entire career to NatWest and will leave behind numerous colleagues who respect and revere her.
Dame Alison stated, “I remain immensely proud of the progress the bank has made in supporting individuals, families, and businesses across the United Kingdom and laying the groundwork for sustainable development.
“My NatWest coworkers have been instrumental to this success, so I’d like to personally thank them for everything they’ve done.”
The board added that Paul Thwaite, the current chief executive of the company’s Commercial and Institutional business, will assume Dame Alison’s position for an initial period of one year, pending regulatory approval.
In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, Dame Alison stated, “In my conversations with Simon Jack of the BBC, I made a serious error of judgment when discussing Mr. Farage’s relationship with the bank.” She also denied disclosing “any private financial information about Mr. Farage.”
Mr. Farage claimed earlier this month that his account was closed for political reasons, but an article by BBC News business editor Simon Jack cast doubt on his claims, citing senior sources who claimed that Mr. Farage no longer met the financial requirements for an account at Coutts, a bank that caters to the ultra-wealthy.
However, Mr. Farage subsequently obtained an internal report from Coutts that highlighted additional factors, such as alleged ties to Russia and “xenophobic and racist” views.
The BBC and Mr. Jack apologized to the former leader of the Brexit Party on Monday, with the journalist claiming that his information “came from a trusted and senior source” but “turned out to be incomplete and inaccurate.”