Coutts & Co has written to thousands of its UK customers warning they might have been exposed to unsuitable investments following an agreement with the FCA to review the private bank’s advice process, according to reports.
The FT reports the review will look at advice on investments held by clients as at 26 November 2012, when the bank implemented new procedures required by the RDR.
Coutts said there could have been occasions when investors were sold unsuitable products that did not meet their appetite for risk.
In a letter to UK clients, Coutts chief executive Michael Morley says: “Looking back, there have been some instances where the advice given during our previous advice process could have been better, and we are working hard to address that.
“We want our clients to be absolutely certain that every investment made by them is indeed suitable, and continues to be suitable. If not, we will ensure that portfolios are appropriately adjusted, and if clients have suffered any financial detriment, they will be compensated in full.”
The issues largely relate to record-keeping, much of which was paper-based.
The bank says all client records are now held both electronically and in writing, to “remove that weakness”.
Another problem was that roles had become too “complex” after staff were required to combine general banking and wealth management duties. Coutts separated these functions after November 2012 under the new process.
The review is set to conclude early next year.