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Coutts grows new clients by 11% amid app launch

Coutts grows new clients by 11% amid app launch
 

Coutts has recorded an 11 per cent uptick in new clients so far this year, with net new flows of £1.4bn driven in part by digital sales.

In half-year results published today (July 29), the private bank’s chief executive, Peter Flavel, said the new client growth was “notable” considering the difficult economic environment.

Operating profit was a 28 per cent improvement on the same period last year, up £41mn to £187mn at the end of June.

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Meanwhile, income was up £93mn on this time last year, reaching £461mn.

The bank, which forms part of NatWest and has a history dating back to 1692, migrated 44,000 clients to its new digital service in June. 

In the first three weeks of June, it said around 70 per cent of customers activated the app and some £2.5bn of payments have been made using it. 

“This emphasises the importance of technology in our ever-modern world but without forgetting the personal service we provide that underpins it,” said Flavel.

“It is encouraging that, despite the more difficult economic environment, we’ve seen notable growth in new clients and a continued determination to manage wealth, with clients’ balances continuing to represent positive growth.”

Last year, Coutts added £3bn in net flows to its balance sheet and so far this year, has added £1.4bn in net new money.

Digital sales represent 18 per cent of this figure.

There was no mention in the results of NatWest’s hybrid advice service, which was rolled out less than a year ago to both Coutts customers and those using NatWest’s affluent banking service Premier.

When FTAdviser last spoke to NatWest, the bank said it was “advising two new customers a day” via the hybrid advice service.

As a group, NatWest posted an operating profit of £1.3bn for the six months ending June 30, 2022, compared to £1bn a year earlier. 

Like other banks, NatWest benefited from the sharp rise in interest rates on mortgages over the last year.

The bank’s mortgage lending increased by £6.3bn over the period, with gross new lending of £20.6bn in the first half of the year. This was down on the £21.4bn it grossed over the same period last year.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com