UK wealth manager and private bank Coutts has become one of the first companies to successfully sign up to the revised UK Stewardship Code, the industry code of conduct for companies investing on behalf of savers and pensioners set by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

The code outlines how investment companies should “create long-term value for clients and beneficiaries leading to sustainable benefits for the economy, environment and society” and requires evidence of how signatories are integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions. The company went through a review process in which it was assessed against the FRC’s 12 principles, which are recognised globally as a best-practice benchmark. Last month, Coutts became the largest private bank and wealth manager in the UK to be granted B Corporation status, a certification awarded to companies whose activities meet certain standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and public transparency.

Leslie Gent, head of responsible investing at Coutts, said: “This independent approval for our work building a better future provides further evidence to our clients that they’re benefitting the environment and society as they attempt to grow their wealth. And all at no extra cost to them and with no compromise on returns.

“The fact that the standards we had to meet were so high shows just how seriously people now take our planet’s most pressing issues – not just clients, but governments and industry bodies too.  The importance of getting this right is a no-brainer for us. We work to provide sustainable, long-term returns for our investment clients. We can only achieve that in a world with a sustainable future.”

The UK Stewardship Code was first published in July 2010, but has been revised over time. Coutts first signed up to it in 2017.

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