Coutts is a 331-year-old institution whose client list has included the late Queen Elizabeth II
Coutts is a 331-year-old institution whose client list has included the late Queen Elizabeth II AFP News

The head of NatWest's private banking arm Coutts resigned on Thursday, the second top executive to quit the group following a row over the closure of the account of arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage.

Peter Flavel, chief executive of Coutts since March 2016, quit the upmarket bank "by mutual consent with immediate effect", NatWest's interim CEO Paul Thwaite said in a statement.

A day earlier, Alison Rose resigned as NatWest CEO after admitting a "serious error of judgment" in speaking to a BBC reporter about Farage's banking affairs.

Farage, former leader of the Brexit Party and the anti-immigration party UKIP, has complained that he was removed as a client of Coutts for his political views.

In a report which it has since apologised for, the BBC had suggested Farage's accounts were closed because he did not have sufficient funds to remain a client of the prestigious establishment.

Rose admitted that she had given the public broadcaster's reporter "the impression that the decision to close Mr. Farage's account was purely commercial".

Coutts is a 331-year-old institution that caters to the rich and famous, with a client list that has included the late Queen Elizabeth II.

"In the handling of Mr Farage's case we have fallen below the bank's high standards of personal service," Flavel said in Thursday's statement.

"As CEO of Coutts it is right that I bear ultimate responsibility for this, which is why I am stepping down," he added.

Farage said on social media that it was "only a matter of time" before Flavel stood down.

"The ultimate responsibility for the dossier de-banking me for my political views lies with him," Farage said on Twitter, which is being rebranded as X.

Farage also posted what he said were two emails he sent to Flavel about the issue but that the banker "completely ignored", showing an "extraordinary kind of arrogance from a man asleep at the wheel".

Farage, a Eurosceptic politician and now a television presenter, campaigned for decades for Britain's withdrawal from the European Union and was a key figure in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

NatWest's board initially backed Rose on Tuesday, but by early Wednesday it announced she was stepping down after working at the bank for 30 years.

UK media said pressure for Rose to step down came from within the British government, which owns 39 percent of NatWest.

Farage obtained a 40-page report regarding the closure of his account.

The report, according to him, repeatedly mentioned Brexit and his support for former US president Donald Trump.

The politician did not "align with the bank's purpose and values" and was "seen as xenophobic and racist", he quoted it as saying.

Mohammad Kamal Syed, Coutts' head of asset management, was named to take over as the private bank's interim CEO.

"Mo has extensive Wealth Management experience and is the ideal person to lead Coutts through this difficult time as we begin the search for Peter's replacement," Thwaite said.