Breaches found in NatWest's Coutts account closures

NatWest Group (LSE: NWG) announced today that the second phase of a review into account closures at its private bank Coutts revealed potential breaches of Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules, but found no evidence of discrimination based on customers’ political views.

The review analysed 84 closed accounts over two years, identifying areas where Coutts could improve its account closure policies and procedures. In some cases, potential failures to treat customers fairly and breaches of contract by not providing closure reasons were found.

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While no political discrimination was uncovered, the bank continues to face backlash after closing Brexit party leader Nigel Farage’s accounts earlier this year – a scandal that ultimately led to the departure of NatWest CEO Alison Rose and Coutts chief Peter Flavel.

NatWest shares edged up 0.5% on the news. The stock is the worst performing FTSE 100 bank this year, down 16% as the UK government explores options to sell its remaining 39% stake by 2025.