Companies

Description

Coutts & Co. is a British private bank and wealth manager headquartered in London.

Founded in 1692, it is the eighth oldest bank in the world. Today, Coutts forms part of NatWest Group's wealth management division. In the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, Coutts Crown Dependencies operates as a trading name of The Royal Bank of Scotland International Limited. In 2021, Coutts achieved B-Corp Status, becoming only the third UK bank to achieve the certification.

Corporate governance

The bank's chief executive is Peter Flavel, who has been in the role since 2016. The company's board is chaired by Lord Waldegrave. Coutts non-executive directors are Mark Lund, Sharmila Nebhrajani, Linda Urquhart and Matt Waymark.

Locations

The bank's headquarters are at 440 Strand, London. It closed its Canary Wharf, St Mary Axe, Cadogan Place and Fleet Street London offices in 2013, and closed Premier Place in London in 2017. Its current UK offices are listed on its Web site; there were offices in 17 cities in 2022. There were international offices in Zurich, Berne, Geneva, Hong Kong, Montevideo, Singapore, Dubai, Jersey, Isle of Man, Miami, Monaco and Cayman Islands until the sale of Coutts International in 2015.

Clients

Until the 20th century Coutts was a clearing bank to the nobility and landed gentry, but then became a wealth manager to a wider range of clients, including entrepreneurs, entertainers, sportsmen, professionals, executives, lottery winners, and football players. The British Royal Family are notable clients; the bank was sometimes referred to as "the Queen's bank". There are stringent requirements to being accepted as a client, not just based on financial assets. In 2001 prospective clients needed at least £500,000 in disposable funds; in 2022 potential clients are asked "Are you looking to borrow £1m+?", or to use the bank's investment advisory services for assets over £1m.

Between 2011 and 2015 Prince Charles accepted €3 million in cash from the prime minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani. The funds were said to be in the form of €500 notes, handed over in person in three tranches, in a suitcase, holdall and carrier bags. Charles's meetings with Al Thani did not appear in the Court Circular. Coutts collected the cash and each payment was deposited into the accounts of The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund. There is no evidence that the payments were illegal or that it was not intended for the money to go to the charity.

The Captain Tom Foundation is a client of Coutts. On 30 June 2022, the Charity Commission for England and Wales opened a statutory inquiry into the charity due to questions regarding its financial relationship with members of the Ingram-Moore family, who served as trustees of the charity.

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