It was announced by the Financial Times on 5th June 2014 that Coutts & Co has written to “thousands of its UK clients warning that they might have been exposed to unsuitable investments”.
Coutts is a private bank and has, amongst others, HM Queen Elizabeth II as a customer. It has a long history and is viewed as being the bank for the political and financial elite of the UK.
Coutts has suggested that it has reached an agreement with the Financial Conduct Authority to review the advice given in relation to the sale of investments to retail customers over the last number of years up to 26th November 2012.
This move is likely to be the first of many such announcements. Following the many scandals involving banks in the UK billions of pounds have been repaid to customers who have been subject to advice that has not met the guidelines that must be adhered to by
How may it apply to you?
If you are a customer of Coutts & Co, whether as a bank account holder or a customer of its investment bank advisory team you should consider what financial products you have bought following advice from the bank. This may be, for example, pensions, investments
in products, bonds and equities, the sale of shares, the utilisation of share capital for shorting, purchase of mortgage or equity backed bonds or general investment advice in respect of your assets and money.
Berg offers a service to clients in respect of all of these areas. Pensions and investments have long since been known to have been badly handled by banks and investment companies during the late 1980s and between 2001 and 2012. During the period from 2004
to 2010 the inadequate supervision by the Financial Services Authority (now the Financial Conduct Authority) meant that many banks sold unsuitable investment products to their customers with almost impunity. One such product that has caused significant losses
in the UK is in relation to “death bonds”. Following an investigation, the Financial Services Authority announced that these should almost never be sold to retail clients. Similar issues have occurred with pensions and mortgage backed securities.
It should be understood that simply having lost money on an investment is not grounds for complaint that a product was inappropriate. The issues that are relevant, and especially so in relation to Coutts & Co, are whether an investment meets the customer’s
specific requirements and appetite for risk.
If you feel that you have been advised to take a financial product from any bank that was not suitable, please contact the Banking Litigation Team.
For more information about any of the above or for practical advice on this or any other aspect of banking and financial disputes, please contact
of the Berg Banking Litigation Team on 0161 833 9211 or email him at
(The information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Berg or any of its partners or employees. Professional legal advice should
be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.)