The chief executive of Britain's NatWest bank, Alison Rose, stepped down Wednesday after admitting a "serious error of judgment" in speaking to a reporter about the banking affairs of arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage.
Farage, former leader of the Brexit Party and the anti-immigration party UKIP, had complained about the closure of his account with the upmarket Coutts, the bank used by the late Queen Elizabeth II and subsidiary of NatWest.
He said he was removed as a client for his political views.
But, in a report which it has since apologised for, public broadcaster the BBC suggested Farage's accounts were closed because he did not have sufficient funds to remain a client of the prestigious establishment.
Rose previously admitted she was the source for the story, and acknowledged "a serious error in judgment" in discussing Farage's relationship with the bank.
NatWest's board on Tuesday gave its backing to Rose, a 30-year veteran of the company. But by early Wednesday it announced she was stepping down.
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.
"The Board and Alison Rose have agreed, by mutual consent, that she will step down as CEO of the NatWest Group," board chairman Howard Davies said in a statement.
"It is a sad moment. She has dedicated all her working life so far to NatWest and will leave many colleagues who respect and admire her."
The board has appointed Paul Thwaite, current CEO of the commercial and institutional business, to take her place for an initial period of a year.
"A further process will take place in due course to appoint a permanent successor," it added.
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