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One Year On: Consistency in a Changing World

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Summary

In the face of uncertainty at home and abroad, Coutts remains committed to meeting the varied and unique needs of our clients, writes Peter Flavel, CEO

6 min read

It has been 12 months since I joined Coutts as CEO – and what a year it has been. In March 2016, I described my first week with the business as “quite a whirlwind” – little did I know that I had 51 similar weeks to look forward to!

That said, despite the momentous changes 2016 wrought globally and within the UK, there are some things which remain consistent in a world in flux. One of these is our commitment at Coutts to focusing on the broad and diverse needs of our clients and their families, making sure wealth has its intended consequences. This has been the heart of our business for 325 years now, making Coutts an iconic private banking brand recognised globally. We are proud to represent the best of British, and as we celebrate our history and legacy on this milestone anniversary, it is more important than ever to look forward to the future. 

“Our success will depend on our ability to innovate and evolve”

INNOVATING TO IMPROVE

Our success in 2017 and beyond, however, will depend on our ability to innovate, evolve and be more than a bank. As our client base broadens and their needs widen, our ability to tailor and personalise the experience we offer our clients will be pivotal to our continued success.

Digital is crucial to the future success of any business and we were proud to receive the prestigious PAM Service Innovation Award for 2016. This acknowledged the many innovations we have made during 2016 and reinforces our commitment to evolving the service we provide clients in a smart and secure way. Testament to our commitment to innovation, last year saw the launch of CouttsID, which replaces the need for clients to use the card reader to log in to and authorise payments on Coutts Online. It is part of a long tradition of technological firsts. In 1963 we were the first bank to operate a mainframe computer and we later became the first UK private bank to introduce internet banking.

We continue to strive to be the best, and seek to offer our clients the flexibility to engage with us how and when they want to. The trust between our clients and their bankers remains paramount and the engagement across our digital and telephony touchpoints continues to grow year-on-year.

Our innovations for the future will be shaped by our clients. Coutts has a rich tapestry of clients, and they often tell me about the opportunities, collaboration and insight that are presented through the Coutts community. These connections and the partnerships that Coutts has are an invaluable component of our client experience. We are proud to draw on this unparalleled network to challenge, inspire and provoke thoughts around every aspect of their wealth and the way we think about ourselves as a business.

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“The trust between our clients and their bankers remains paramount”

AN AWARD-WINNING YEAR

I am extremely proud of the external recognition we have received over the past 12 months. Earlier this year, our investment performance was recognised as we won the Gold Prize for Absolute Return Portfolios at the Portfolio Adviser Wealth Manager Awards 2017. In addition to winning Outstanding Private Bank UK, we were awarded on three separate occasions in 2016 for our philanthropy offering. The recognition of the services our Coutts Institute can provide speaks volumes about the increasing desire among our clients to use their wealth to make a difference to society, and in doing so, define a purpose for this wealth for themselves and their families.

As we move forward into 2017, facing whatever challenges and uncertainties it has in store, we continue to be there for our clients. We’ll be there to offer them peace of mind, to maximise the impact of their charitable giving, to help them purchase their dream home, to make their lives simpler – in short, to do whatever we can to ensure that their wealth has its intended consequences.

Key Takeaways

Our success in 2017 and beyond, however, will depend on our ability to innovate, evolve and be more than a bank. As our client base broadens and their needs widen, our ability to tailor and personalise the experience we offer our clients will be pivotal to our continued success.

Peter Flavel, Chief Executive

Peter joined Coutts as Chief Executive in March 2016. Before joining Coutts, Peter held the role of Chief Executive Officer of J.P. Morgan Private Wealth Management.