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Coutts to review suitability of investment advice

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.

The review will look at advice on investments held by clients at 26 November 2012, when the bank imp-lemented new procedures required by the RDR.

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 add-ress 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 relate largely to record-keeping, much of which was paper-based. The bank says all client records are now held both elec-tronic-ally and in writing.

Coutts also acknowledges that roles at the firm had become too “complex” after staff were required to combine general banking and wealth management duties. The bank separated these functions in November 2012.

The review of Coutts’ advice process is set to conclude early next year.

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