The City regulator said it will take “prompt action” if a bank or financial service outright denies service to politicians rather than basing the decision on risk.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) made the promise on Tuesday as it launched a review into how firms are treating politically exposed persons (PEPs) in the UK.
Under international anti-money laundering rules that were incorporated into British law, financial services are required to scrutinise PEPs, their families, and known associates more closely.
“That is why Parliament has asked us to review how UK Politically Exposed Persons are treated within the current legal regime,” she wrote.
Conducting a Review
In August, the FCA already began writing to MPs, peers, and other PEPs including senior civil servants and senior army officials, asking them to share their experiences of the PEPs regime.
“In conducting our review, we will be prioritising firms where intelligence indicates concerns in their conduct with PEPs. If we find significant problems in the arrangements of any firm we will take prompt action with that firm to resolve those problems, and not wait for the completion for the review,” the FCA said.
The watchdog expects to conclude the review and publish a report in 10 months.
She also stressed that individuals who are facing problems with financial services should raise their concerns to their service providers or the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Mr. Farage initially suspected he was debanked over PEP rules. He later found out that Coutts decided to reject him because his “publicly-stated views” were at odds with the bank’s position as “an inclusive organisation,” specifically regarding “ESG/Diversity and inclusion.”
The incident led to the resignation of Coutts CEO Peter Flavel and the CEO of Coutts’ parent bank NatWest, Dame Alison Rose.