After three centuries as banker to Britain's rich and famous, from Charles Dickens to Queen Elizabeth II, Coutts, one of the world's oldest banks, is trying to modernise. Scarlett's Citanovich-Hodge reports.
Nestled above the hustle and bustle of central London.... One of the world's oldest banks houses a sky garden that's home to more than 15-thousand plants.... And is producing its own honey from resident bees. 325 years old, Coutts bank has decided it's time to get hip. For centuries it's held accounts for some of Britain's most prominent figures... Including the Queen, and allegedly even her corgis. Now chief executive Peter Flavel says the ancient lender has decided to move with the times. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) PETER FLAVEL, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF COUTTS: "But it's also gamers and vloggers and young people coming through who are making quite a lot of money out of these new technologies and that's exciting and a bit of a challenge for us at the same time. So what that means when I think about where we are driving Coutts, is we need to maintain that history and be modern and contemporary and we need to be more than simply a bank." The bank is spending 20-million pounds a year on digital and technological intiatives. With increased regulation and a competitive squeeze behind the efforts to modernise. Coutts also trying to shake off any suggestion it's stiff or out of touch. With the help of 'ten percent time'. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) PETER FLAVEL, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF COUTTS: "And that's the time that we say to our advisors during the week, they should spend ten percent of their time not doing the things they would normally do in terms of banking but just making contact with clients about how things are going, and how they can help" Nowadays it's not just monarchs who expect the royal treatment.