THE bank account of a women’s rights and equalities campaigner has been shut by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) without explanation, her family has said.

Professor Lesley Sawers, the 64-year-old Equalities and Human Rights Commissioner for Scotland, has been with RBS for 32 years but two weeks ago, she and her husband Allan McKechnie were told it would be shut next month.

The account contained thousands of pounds, but the RBS said it would be ceasing its “banking relationship” with the couple and they would have to make other arrangements outside the NatWest group.

It comes after Nigel Farage claimed he had his Coutts bank account closed because of political prejudice, but the BBC later revealed it was because he fell below the financial threshold required to maintain it.

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Coutts is owned by NatWest and requires customers to invest or borrow £1 million with the bank or hold £3m in savings to be eligible for a current account.

McKechnie, 69, a “premier” banking customer with RBS, told The Times: “The type of issues that my wife is having to oversee and deal with at the moment are quite contentious.

“I made a throwaway comment to my wife last week and said, ‘I hope it’s not your job that’s giving me all this grief’. She was a bit disparaging and said, ‘Don’t be stupid’.

“But I saw the stories about other accounts being closed down and said: ‘Good God, there may be something in this after all, with you being the equalities commissioner’.

“I rang up to put in a complaint and I did say to them, ‘You do realise you are closing the account of the Equalities and Human Rights commissioner?’”

Sawers has been in her role since 2016.

McKechnie, a private pilot from South Ayrshire, said that they had spoken to another bank about an account only to be told that Sawers has a “mark against her name”.

McKechnie added: “It is extraordinary. It’s a terrible way to treat someone and a very serious thing.”

Banks are facing a Treasury inquiry into claims that they are closing customers’ accounts because they do not like their views on politics, Brexit and gender.

Almost 10,000 people have joined a Facebook group called “NatWest closed down my account”.

A NatWest spokesperson said: “Like all UK regulated banking institutions, NatWest is subject to legal and regulatory requirements, and we treat compliance with them as a matter of priority. This may mean NatWest is required to delay or refuse to act on a customer’s instructions, and/or suspend or restrict a customer’s accounts and/or services.

“The bank does not make any comments on the specifics of this case.”