The Brexiteer businessman whose links with the Isle of Man made UK national headlines last week is in the news again.
Last week the National Crime Agency announced it was investigating his loans to pro-Brexit campaign allegedly from his Manx company.
Mr Banks denies any wrongdoing.
Now the Brexit campaign group Leave.EU and an insurance company owned by Mr Banks face fines totalling £135,000 over breaches of data laws, a report from the UK’s information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has confirmed.
The report, released on the commissioner’s website, stated that Leave.EU and Eldon Insurance - trading as GoSkippy - were each being fined £60,000 for serious breaches of the law that governs electronic marketing.
A separate £15,000 fine has been levied against Leave.EU for a further breach of email regulations in the opposite direction, sending 300,000 emails to Eldon customers with a Leave.EU newsletter.
Ms Denham said ’a disturbing disregard for voters’ personal privacy’ had been uncovered by the Information Commissioner’s Office investigation into the political uses of voters’ data.
She said the ICO’s investigation involved 71 witnesses, 30 organisations with data practices under review, and more than 700 terabytes of data being assessed by investigators.
Andy Wigmore, an associate of Banks, issued a press statement insisting that Leave.EU had been ’open and transparent with the ICO’ in the course of the investigation.
He added that the ICO had said it did not consider the breaches of data protection to be deliberate and that Eldon Insurance and Leave.EU intended to contest the ICO’s findings before the fine was finalised.
Rock Holdings Limited, registered in the island with a majority shareholding owned by Arron Banks, was identified as the source of money used to fund pro-Brexit campaigns by the Electoral Commission in the UK last week.
As a non-UK entity, Rock Holdings is not allowed to contribute to a UK political campaign.
The National Crime Agency investigation centres on £8m Mr Banks provided to the company ’Better For The Country’ and the campaign ’Leave.EU’.
Mr Banks provided £6m to Leave.EU and £2m to BFTC. Both he and Leave.EU told the Electoral Commission that the money came from Mr Banks himself.
A statement from the Manx government reads: ’The authorities in the Isle of Man will always cooperate with law enforcement agencies investigating criminal activities. If there is any evidence of any wrongdoing in the Isle of Man then all appropriate action will be taken.’
Earlier this week, the island’s financial regulators refused to comment in detail about the Banks issue.
Channel 4 News filmed in the island on Friday for a live report. The island’s status has come under question again.
Then on Sunday Mr Banks told the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1 that the money was all from UK sources and UK-registered companies but the Electoral Commission is questioning this. Mr Banks also told Andrew Marr the investigation arose from ’a misunderstanding about the role of Rock Holdings as a holding company’.
The commission referred the case to the National Crime Agency, which said there were some grounds to suspect Mr Banks was not the true source of the donation and had hidden the source of the funds.
The commission says this is important because a substantial amount of the money was used on referendum spending during the regulated period, which controls spending, donations and reporting in the run up to the poll.
The source of all donations should be transparent and none is supposed to be from outside the UK.
Mr Banks has a number of business links and interests in the Isle of Man, including Rock Holdings, which recently moved its registered company address from South Quay to Athol Street in Douglas, and ICS Risk Solutions, registered at the same address on Athol Street, of which he is the majority owner.
His estimated wealth is around £250 million.
He is a former director and is understood to be a shareholder in the Manx Financial Group (MFG), of which multi-millionaire, Brexit supporter and island resident Jim Mellon is chairman.
Financial Services Authority head of operations Dave Hodgson told the Isle of Man Examiner that he could not disclose whether the authority was involved in the investigation into Mr Banks.
’I’m not fully aware of the details of the case and until it all comes out,’ he said. ’We can’t say if it will have any effect on our regulations.
’Clearly anything that falls into the world of financial regulation will be looked at and dealt with appropriately but until we know the island’s involvement, we can’t say more.’
As far as media reports were concerned, he added: ’We can be an easy hit without there necessarily being any justification.’
A spokesman for the MFG declined to comment publicly on the matter.
According to the Financial Times, Mr Banks is a shareholder in around 20 UK companies, most of which have a parent company registered in the Isle of Man, Gibraltar or British Virgin Islands.