|Ravishing guide to|
|God Save the King?|Aaron Arron Fraser Andrew Banks (1966–) is the money man and self-styled "Bad Boy of Brexit" and has funded one of the main sister organisations of the Leave campaign, Leave.eu. He first gained prominence when in 2014, he gave a million pounds to the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), becoming one of its main beneficiaries. However, his wealth and richness are very shady. To Americans and many readers of this site, Arron Banks was one of the people in the notorious gold lift in Trump Tower with Nigel Farage and Andy Wigmore.
His main background is in insurance, having initially worked as an underwriter at the well-known insurer Lloyd's of London instead of attending university. Afterwards, he later took over a tiny motorbike insurer, Motorcycle Direct, and helped turn it into the insurance outfit Eldon Insurance, which trades as itself as GoSkippy and does the insurance for Debenhams department store. He also owns the insurer Southern Rock Insurance, based in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, which underwrites Eldon. The flotation of Eldon on the smaller AIM stock market in 2017 made Arron Banks a multi-millionaire, leaving him with an estimated personal wealth of £20 million.
The links between Eldon and Leave.eu have been porous, with staff at the insurer and the Leave organisation in each others' shoes. His Breitbart-esque website Westmonster works on the same premises as Eldon.
Banks is also the director of around 35 companies in various tax havens, including Rock Holdings in the Isle of Man, one of the companies that fund Eldon. It was also revealed in the Panama Papers that he has links to companies in the British Virgin Islands.
Diamonds are forever
Banks is connected to several diamond mines in Southern Africa, in South Africa, Lesotho and eSwatini, pitching that the mines provide millions of pounds of diamonds. Journalists who have visited the mines said they were not active and didn't produce anything besides a few pebbles.
The Russian connection
Bankski is married to a Russian, Ekaterina "Katya" Paderina, with whom he has three children in addition to the two children from his first marriage. He is also good friends with (former) Russian ambassador Alexander Yakovenko, having had several lunches with him. Banks alleges that these meetings were to do with gold and diamond mining operations in Russia; however, these are not confirmed.
Katya Banks has a suspicious background, as she was good friends with Katia Zatuliveter, who in 2004 had her security clearance as an MP's intern removed due to the security services believing that Katia had connections with staff in the Russian embassy who were linked to the SVR.
- "Ex-Tory donor Arron Banks gives £1m to UKIP" BBC News
- "Arron Banks under pressure to explain Brexit funds" Channel 4 News
- Oppenheim, Maya Who's in Nigel Farage's gold Brexit gang photo with Donald Trump? The Independent
- Debenhams Personal Finance - Car Insurance
- Lucas, Paul Arron Banks’ Eldon plans stock market listing Insurance Business UK
- Staff 'switched between Brexit campaign and Arron Banks insurance firm' BBC News
- Largent trouble du Brexit VoxPop - ARTE
- Waterson, Jim; Pegg, David Revealed: Isle of Man firm at the centre of claims against Arron Banks The Guardian
- Rugman, Jonathan "Diamonds, guns and Russian cash: The extraordinary new claims against Arron Banks" Channel 4 News
- Swinford, Steven, Rayner, Gordon "Russian 'spy' case: Liberal Democrat MP 'helped second Russian girl",The Daily Telegraph