‘Queen’s bank’ Coutts in bid to boost ethical credentials

The Queen’s bank is the latest lender to join the push towards ethical finance.

Coutts has secured B Corp status, a scheme which accredits businesses that meet a certain set of standards on environmental, social and governance issues.

The sought-after status, which financial services firms such as Triodos Bank and insurer Bikmo boast, as well as high street names The Body Shop and the Jamie Oliver Group, comes as banks face increased pressure to deliver on ESG offerings.

Coutts’ new status was announced on 27 July on the bank’s Twitter feed.

“Becoming a B Corp helps us continue to support our clients’ sustainability plans and provide the reassurance that no matter their financial goals, they need not come at the expense of the planet,” the bank said on its website.

Coutts started the certification process 18 months ago, the bank’s chief executive told the Guardian, using data from 2019 on governance, work culture, and climate and environment initiatives among other areas.

During the pandemic, financial services firms have seen a surge in interest in ESG products, with more City firms publicising green offerings in a bid to lure new customers.

READ Disgraced Coutts financier goes into business with Prince Andrew

However, the private bank has faced challenges in the past, with a former managing director Harry Keogh, who left in March 2018, accused of making unwanted physical contact and lewd comments toward female colleagues at the bank.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Bérengère Sim

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