Alison Rose does resign

I wrote a post late last night calling on Alison Rose to resign as Chief Executive of NatWest following her admission that she was the source of the inaccurate story, and breach of confidentiality, about a customer which appeared on the BBC.

This morning it was announced that she had indeed resigned in the early hours of the morning.

It is completely irrelevant that the customer concerned was Nigel Farage, regardless of what you think of him. It would not have made any difference to my opinion if the customer concerned had been Rishi Sunak, Jeremy Corbyn, or someone in a minimum wage job or unemployed who most people have never previously heard of. 

All customers and patients of banks or any other organisation which holds their private information have a right to have their privacy respected and breaches of that confidentiality should be treated very seriously indeed.

We all know that any junior bank clerk who did to a bank customer what Alison Rose did would have been sacked on the spot the moment it came out. We also know that a bank branch manager who planted an inaccurate story in the press which broke confidentiality about one of the bank's customers would face instant dismissal too.

It doesn't just apply to banks. If I or any other employee of the BT group leaked private information regarding a BT customer to the press in a manner designed to discredit them and also brought BT or Openreach into disrepute both by the leak and because the information in the leak was not accurate, I would not only expect to be sacked, I would think I'd got off lightly if I were not also prosecuted. If my wife leaked confidential information to the press about a patient at the hospital where she works, she or any other employee who did such a thing would almost certainly be fired.

And yes, similar rules probably ought to be applied a lot more consistently to ministers of all parties and to government officials.

It is amazing that neither Alison Rose herself or the NatWest board saw that yesterday.


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