The private bank, which is majority-owned by the taxpayer after the Government bailed out its owner, the Royal Bank of Scotland, used to offer free banking to anyone who kept at least £10,000 in their current account.
Coutts has been keen to be seen as a bank for entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners, through sponsorship of things like the National Business Awards and Coutts Women. However customers are now being told they must pay £150 every three months to keep their accounts open unless their borrowings or investments with the bank amount to at least £250,000.
The bank said it was “a difficult decision to make” but was down to “the increased costs of providing a full private banking service”.
A spokesman for the banks said it was now “looking for clients with £500,000 of liquid assets upwards”. It is, apparently, “encouraging people to either use our full range of services or to pay the quarterly charge.”