Rory Tapner, the new head of wealth at the Royal Bank of Scotland, owner of Coutts, a private UK bank, is making plans to change the reputation of Coutts from a stodgy, conservative a traditional bank to one with a bit more pizzazz.
Tapner’s plan is to begin an ambitious drive into investment management services which will be just one aspect of a greater refocusing and broader restructuring in the hopes of stopping the trend of falling margins.
“In the UK space we need to move the needle so instead of having two legs of a three legged stool – credit and deposits – we have credit, deposits and investments,” Tapner said.
Coutts has an investment service, but it is drastically underused. The service at the moment emphasizes portfolios which are built mainly around funds which are externally managed. The bank also handles extremely wealthy clients’ portfolios, which are almost exclusively made up of highly sophisticated assets.
But these investments represent only 15 percent of Coutts’ clients in the UK. To compare, about 90 per cent of Coutts overseas customers also use the bank for their investment needs.
As Tapner explained,
“I thought we would have to spend two to three years building up a record but actually that was here. The trouble was nobody knew about it.”