According to the bank's own description, "B Corps" are businesses that balance both purpose and profit. They are legally responsible for benefitting customers, workers, communities and the planet while delivering profit."
UK private bank Coutts, which is due to issue second-quarter financial results on Friday, has become a Certified B Corporation, a title showing that it balances financial results while protecting the environment. The status comes at a time when financial groups continue to stress their environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials.
The firm, part of UK-listed NatWest Group, said yesterday that it is the largest private bank and wealth manager in the UK to achieve B Corp status.
“Becoming a B Corp means we are seeking to meet the highest standards by way of transparency, social and environmental performance, and legal accountability. It also means that we want to strike the right balance between profit and purpose. When we saw that one of the ambitions of the B Corp community is to accelerate a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy, we knew we had to be a part of it,” Peter Flavel, Coutts’ chief executive, said.
The blue-blooded bank talked recently to WealthBriefing about its work in the field of sustainability, a drive that has won it industry awards. The ferment around ESG investing and business practices shows no sign of slowing down.
After the certification, Coutts will work with NatWest’s “Purpose Led Accelerator” programme to support entrepreneurs and leaders of sustainable and responsible businesses who want to commit to and embark on the B Corp journey.
"Having an answer to ‘what next?’ is what we feel matters the most. Whilst a certification is absolutely important, it’s what we do from here to improve ourselves, support others and ensure more businesses are thinking sustainably and responsibly that will make the difference. That’s why we’re excited about the work we are doing with the Purpose Accelerators as well as with own clients - we want to be an active part of and help build the B Corp community and drive positive change,” Flavel said.