Wednesday 28 July 2021 11:14 am

Coutts secures B Corp ethical status

Coutts has secured the sought-after B Corp status, the bank announced on Twitter. The certification attests companies uphold certain social and environmental performance standards, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

The private bank and wealth manager has a history spanning over three centuries and is known to be the banker for the Queen and members of the royal family.

“We seek to bank families over generations,” chief officer Peter Flavel told The Guardian. “I do think that a younger generation of client coming in is going to want to see that we’re addressing these issues.”

Under the B Corp status, Coutts will help its very wealthy customers assess their own carbon emissions and purchase carbon credits to offset their footprint. The lender will also incentivise its clients to take up green mortgages by offering lower interest rates.

“B Corp status is all about redefining the way that we measure success as a business,” said Flavel in a video on the bank’s website.

To secure the certification, Coutts completed an assessment on areas of impact such as governance, community, workers, environment and customers, based on 2019 data. Flavel told The Guardian the stauts took 18 months to secure.

The B Corp certification is often described as the business equivalent to the Fair Trade label for goods. Energy company Bulb, digital bank Triodos and insurer Bikmo are also among the more than 500 companies in the UK that hold the status.

The announcement comes as Coutts attempts its boost its reputation after scandals in the recent years. In 2018, banker Harry Keogh resigned following sexual harassment allegations. The bank was fined by Swiss regulators in 2017 for transferring funds for Malaysian businessman Jho Low, who was connected to 1MDB investment scandal, without notifying regulators.