People Moves

Coutts Banker In Harassment Case Resigns

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, London, 28 March 2018

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The senior Coutts banker reportedly disciplined for harassment of female colleagues after an internal investigation in 2015 has left the bank.

The Coutts banker who has been punished for sexual harassment claims, as reported here, has resigned from the UK firm.

Harry Keogh left the bank last week with immediate effect, a spokesperson told this publication yesterday 

Earlier this month, it was reported that Keogh and a number of colleagues had been investigated by senior managers in 2015 over claims of inappropriate conduct including lewd comments, heavy drinking and unwanted physical contact with female colleagues. Keogh was disciplined by the bank, such as withholding a bonus, issuing a written warning and assigning a coach. The Wall Street Journal had reported that Keogh denied allegations of inappropriate behaviour and accepted disciplinary action without admitting those allegations. The WSJ report did not specify if other bankers at Coutts had been punished for any related matters.

Keogh has been MD at Coutts since January 2010; prior to this, he was MD, private banking, RBS, from January 1999. In 1999, according to his Linkedin profile, he “founded RBS Private Banking incorporating Drummonds and Child & Co following the take-over of NatWest”. He was a MD at RBS from 1995 to 1999, his profile says.

The report comes at a time when, as reported in this publication and elsewhere, issues of how female staff are treated in financial firms is an increasingly sensitive issue, given concerns about gaps in pay and promotion opportunities. A number of industries, as well as the field of politics, have been rocked by stories of alleged misconduct. There are also political issues in play with Coutts and its parent lender, Royal Bank of Scotland: Coutts, as a venerable bank and known for having the British monarch as its client, has a reputation to guard, while its parent firm is still part-owned by the UK taxpayer since it was bailed out in 2008.

 

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