“I am exceptionally proud of my seven years at Coutts and I want to thank the team that have built it into such a high performing business,” he said. “In the handling of Mr Farage’s case we have fallen below the bank’s high standards of personal service.
“As CEO of Coutts it is right that I bear ultimate responsibility for this, which is why I am stepping down.”
Paul Thwaite, NatWest Group’s acting chief executive, announced that Flavel would be replaced by Coutts’ interim chief executive, Mohammad Kamal Syed.
“Whilst I will be personally sorry to lose Peter as a colleague, I believe this is the right decision for Coutts and the wider group,” he said.
In response to Flavel’s resignation, Farage told The Telegraph: “It was only a matter of time before Peter Flavel, Coutts CEO, stood down.”
“The ultimate responsibility for the dossier de-banking me for my political views lies with him. I even wrote to Mr Flavel twice before going public and didn’t receive an acknowledgement.”
Flavel, the first non-British chief executive in the bank’s 331-year history, forged his career at NAB in Melbourne in the 1990s. He joined Coutts as chief executive seven years ago after leading JPMorgan’s private wealth business in the Asia-Pacific region. He immediately sought to modernise the bank’s image, prioritising climate change and diversity and core issues.
Appearing on an Oxford University podcast four months ago, Flavel told listeners: “If you look on our website and you see the imagery we have there today, it is very diverse.
“When I arrived six or seven years ago, frankly it was white middle-aged women walking around Sloane Square with nice handbags.”
He has previously admitted the move provoked consternation from his peers who warned he risked alienating the bank’s traditional client base.
Flavel has also campaigned heavily on environment issues, inviting veteran naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough to speak to 300 of the bank’s clients in 2019 at its headquarters on the dangers of climate change.
He attended the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow in 2021, where he was photographed sitting next to King Charles, later posting social media site LinkedIn: “I believe businesses are recognising the cost of inaction is now greater than the cost of action. Much more to do; action starts now.”
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