Arron Banks

Arron Banks

Credentials

  • An in-depth profile of Banks at The New Statesman noted that in his early life he went to a “third-rate” boarding school, Crookham Court in Berkshire, where he was expelled for an “accumulation of offences.” He was later expelled again for a “monumental pub crawl,” and said that his lack of “educational attainment” ruled out university. “So he returned to Basingstoke, where he sold paintings, then vacuum cleaners, then houses.'“I was quite good at persuading people to buy things they didn’t want to buy,' he says.” [1]

Background

Arron F. Banks is a businessman famous for being one of the main funders of the UK’s Brexit campaign. He was a co-founder and donor for the Leave.EU group, headed by Nigel Farage, that campaigned for the UK to leave the European Union. [2], [3], [4]

Banks has donated millions to both the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and the Conservative party, and sits within a transatlantic network of influential individuals spreading climate disinformation in the UK and US. [5], [6], [7]

The Guardian reported in 2018 that the National Crime Agency would investigate multiple allegations of criminal offense by Banks and his unofficial leave campaign in Brexit. A statement by the Electoral Commission noted that there were grounds to suspect Banks was “not the true source” of £8m in funding to the Leave.EU campaign. [2]

Stance on Climate Change

March 19, 2017

In a tweet, Banks wrote: [8]

Global climate change represents the biggest transfer of wealth from poor to rich ever via inflated energy costs”.

January 2016

Regarding flooding in the UK Banks said: [3]

The politicians swanking around the disaster zones in hard hats and hi-viz jackets are pointing the finger at climate change – a convenient bogeyman in this situation, but in truth
 this is an unnatural disaster which was made to order in Brussels.”

Key Quotes

June 2016

On the Brexit campaign: [9]

It was taking an American-style media approach. What they said early on was ‘facts don’t work’ and that’s it. The remain campaign featured fact, fact, fact, fact. It just doesn’t work. You have got to connect with people emotionally. It’s the Trump success.”

Key Deeds

May 16, 2019

A Channel 4 News investigation revealed that Banks, had spent approximately £450,000 funding a lavish lifestyle for Nigel Farage in the year following the 2016 EU referendum. [22]

June 2018 

Leaked emails showed that Banks met with the Russian ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko three times in the run up to the EU referendum. [10]

Documents obtained by The Sunday Times also revealed Banks held multiple meetings with Russian officials and flew out to Moscow in February 2016 to meet key financiers and partners behind a gold mine project. MPs called for the police and parliament to launch an investigation. Banks had previously said that his contacts with Russian officials consisted of “one boozy lunch” at the Russian embassy. [10]

After appearing in-front of a parliamentary committee to defend against allegations of collusion with Russia, Banks and former Leave.EU spokesperson Andy Wigmore were photographed with members of the Democratic Unionist Party, including infamous climate science denier Sammy Wilson. [11]

June 28, 2018

The UK Charity commission found that a charity set up by Banks “risked misleading” the public about donations and other information in its annual accounts.  BBC News reported that the Charity Commission had found some funds connected to the charity, “Love Saves The Day,” were not  “properly accounted for” although there had not been a misuse of funds. Banks said claims he was personally at fault were “utter rubbish.” [12]

January 2017

Banks launched the Breitbart-inspired far-right website Westmonster, which is sponsored by Banks’ insurance company Go Skippy. [13], [14]

November 2016

Banks is pictured alongside Nigel Farage and then president-elect Donald Trump in an infamous photo taken at Trump Towers. [15]

July 2016

Following the successful vote for the UK to leave the EU in June 2016, Banks announced support for Andrea Leadsom in the Conservative party leadership race to replace David Cameron. Leadsom was a Vote Leave campaign committee member and has ties to a network of groups spreading climate disinformation based out of 55 Tufton Street. [16]

May 2016

Banks attended an event at Cato Institute thinktank in the US, which is known for spreading climate disinformation, reportedly saying there would be economic pain in the event of the UK leaving the EU, but that it was a price worth paying for independence. [17]

He also met with representatives of the Atlantic Council, American Foreign Policy Council and the Heritage Foundation, along with the US Treasury Department and the Department of State on the same trip. [17]

Affiliations

Other Affiliations

As noted at openDemocracyUK, Banks is tied to a number of companies registered to an address at Lysander House, Catbrain Lane in Bristol.  Below is apartial listing of  Banks' affilations listed via public UK Companies House business filings, including but not limited to the Lysander House address: [19], [20]

  • Go Skippy — Founder. [14]
  • Better for the Country Limited Director appointed January 29, 2016. [21]
  • The Blue Wave Movement — Director. [20]
  • Parsons Jewelers — Director.  [20]
  • Vavista Awards — Director.  [20]
  • Rock E-Systems Limited — Former director (now dissolved).  [20]
  • Rock Services — Director. [20]
  • Old Down — Director.  [20]
  • Precision Risk Services — Director.  [20]
  • Blue Steel Enterprise — Former director (now dissolved). [20]
  • Rock Services — Director.  [20]
  • E Development (2) — Director.  [20]
  • Oakwell Capital — Former director (resigned).  [20]
  • Precision Risk and Intelligence — Former director (resigned).  [20]
  • Group Legal — Former director (now dissolved).  [20]
  • Eldon Insurance Services — Former director (resigned).  [20]
  • Newlaw Legal — Former director (resigned).  [20]
  • Brightside Group — Former director (resigned).  [20]
  • Kyneton Management Co. — Former director (resigned). [20]

Social Media

Publications

Resources

  1. Arron Banks: the man who bought Brexit,” NewStatesman, October 13, 2016. Archived November 30, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/9iv4z

  2. Peter Walker and Jim Waterson. “Arron Banks faces criminal inquiry over Brexit campaign,” The Guardian, November 1, 2018. Archived November 30, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/z2ywh

  3. Arron Banks: This unnatural disaster was made in Brussels thanks to EU flooding policies,” The Yorkshire Post, January 3, 2016. Archived November 30, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/PH4Ca

  4. Sandra Laville. “Arron Banks: self-styled bad boy and bankroller of Brexit,” The Guardian, June 10, 2018. Archived November 30, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/cbEwl

  5. Ex-Tory donor Arron Banks gives £1m to UKIP,” BBC News, October 1, 2014. Archived November 28, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/8oEuU

  6. Nicholas Watt. “Former Tory donor raises Ukip donation to £1m over Hague comments,” The Guardian, October 1, 2014. Archived November 30, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/vK1Bm

  7. Kyla Mandel. “Mapped: New Special Relationship for America and Britain Emerges with Climate Science Deniers Linked to Trump and Brexit,” DeSmog UK, January 16, 2017.

  8. Global climate change represents the biggest transfer of wealth from poor to rich ever via inflated energy costs,” Tweet by user @Arron_banks, March 19, 2017. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

  9. Robert Booth, Alan Travis, and Amelia Gentleman. “Leave donor plans new party to replace Ukip – possibly without Farage in charge,” The Guardian, June 29, 2016. Archived November 30, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/aKX10

  10. Richard Kerbaj, Caroline Wheeler, tim Shipman, and Tom Harper. “Exclusive: Emails reveal Russian links of millionaire Brexit backer Arron Banks,” The Times, June 9, 2018. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/Ournz

  11. Somebody needs to turn the DUP off then turn it on again,” Twitter post by user @newtonEmerson, June 12, 2018. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

  12. Arron Banks: Watchdog criticises charity set up by Leave.EU donor,BBC News, June 28, 2018. Archived November 30, 2018. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/Mmjna

  13. Kyla Mandel. “Brexit-Backer and Trump Ally Arron Banks Brings Breitbart, Drudge Report-Inspired News Site to the UK,” DeSMog UK, January 19, 2017.

  14. Go Skippy founder Banks to bankroll UKIP,” Insurance Age, October 1, 2014. Archived November 30, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/AuHQ4

  15. Maya Oppenheim. “Who's in Nigel Farage's gold Brexit gang photo with Donald Trump?The Independent, November 14, 2016. Archived November 30, 2018. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/c3IIs

  16. Kyla Mandel. “Tory Leadership Race: The UKIP-ers and Climate Deniers Backing Gove and Leadsom,” DeSmog UK, July 5, 2016.

  17. Kyla Mandel. “The Koch and Exxon Funded Think Tanks Supporting, and Being Courted by, Britain’s Brexit Campaigners,” DeSmog UK, July 19, 2016.

  18. Laura Hughes. “Arron Banks says he will set up 'Ukip 2.0' after party 'suspends' major donor's membership,” The Telegraph, March 14, 2017. Archived November 30, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/7x18u

  19. Peter Geoghegan and Adam Ramsay. “Who's paying for these 'reports' on BBC Brexit coverage?openDemocracyUK, October 23, 2017. Archived November 30, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/YVqTP

  20. Arron Fraser Andrew BANKS,Companies House. Archived November 30, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/KVCSP

  21. BETTER FOR THE COUNTRY LIMITED: Company number 09609018,” Companies House UKArchived November 30, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/fk3tF

  22. Nigel Farage’s funding secrets revealed,” Channel 4 News, May 16, 2019. Archived June 20, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/3MJBa

Other Resources

Photo: Screengrab via Leave.EU/Twitter