Coutts bank is at the centre of a sexual harassment scandal after it emerged that an "untouchable" banker was allowed to keep his job despite a slew of allegations.
Coutts, which is the Queen’s bank, conducted an internal investigation after female staff complained about the behaviour of star banker Harry Keogh, 57, said to be so intolerable that some women refused to work with him.
Many reported allegations of inappropriate behavior by Mr Keogh and other bankers, including lewd comments , heavy drinking and unwanted physical contact, according to written accounts seen by the Wall Street Journal.
One woman said Mr Keogh brought in one-third of the bank's business and was therefore untouchable.
The graduate trainee who was in her 20s at the time, claimed that in 2015, Mr Keogh had touched her groin in front of colleagues at a meeting, ostensibly to indicate the location of an injury he had. When she later asked him whether the injury was better, he asked her to touch his groin.
During a dinner, he swore and boasted of his sexual exploits, she said, and as he left, he whispered that "he'd take her with him if he could."
He is alleged to have told another colleague she had the "longest legs in Coutts" and that he wanted to marry her.
Elisabeth Prager, a former employee, told the investigation the company was "a boys club" and that she had been told she should not think about getting pregnant as "the bank needed a few years of work out of her first."
Gayle Schumacher, the senior banker who conducted the investigation, was said to have been shocked by what she learned during the course of interviews with around 20 members of Mr. Keogh's team, which one employee said centred around a "toxic combination" of alcohol and sexual innuendo.
She reported her findings to Michael Morley, the chief executive officer at Coutts, who is said to have told colleagues, as well as RBS, which owns Coutts, that Mr Keogh should be sacked.
But instead, Mr Keogh had a bonus withheld, received a written warning and was assigned a coach.
Mr Keogh, who has been a managing director at the bank for eight years, reportedly accepted the disciplinary action in 2015 without admitting to the allegations.
In 2017, he was given responsibility for the bank's "most influential clients".
The newspaper reported Alison Rose, head of commercial and private banking at RBS, telling staff in an email: "These allegations were very serious. No one should ever have to experience this type of inappropriate behavior in the workplace.
"This matter in question was properly investigated in line with our established policies and procedures and based on the findings of this process, appropriate action was taken."
A Coutts spokesperson said: "We are committed to this being a bank where everyone feels safe at work.
"Which is why, when allegations of inappropriate behaviour were made in relation to a particular team within the bank in 2015, an investigation was conducted into those concerns.
"The investigation found that within that team, standards had fallen below what we regarded as acceptable. Decisive disciplinary action was taken as a result. We are committed to ensuring a continued focus on our conduct and culture, and we encourage all employees to speak up where they experience or encounter any behaviour that falls below our standards."
Mr Keogh declined to comment.
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