David Money-Coutts

Sir David Money-Coutts (1931-2012) was managing director and chairman of Coutts & Co and a director of National Westminster Bank.

Early life

David Burdett Money-Coutts was born on 19 July 1931 in Somerset and spent much of his childhood in Ayrshire. He was the son of the Hon Alexander Burdett Money-Coutts and a great-great-great-great grandson of Thomas Coutts. His grandfather and uncle (the 6th and 7th Lords Latymer) were both directors of Coutts.

David Money-Coutts was educated at Eton and in 1950 commenced his National Service with the First Royal Dragoons, serving in Germany and Egypt. To complete the National Service requirement of service in the Territorial Army, Money-Coutts joined the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars TA and remained with them until 1967.

Money-Coutts studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at New College, Oxford. In 1954, after considering a couple of alternative careers, he joined Coutts & Co.

Banking career

For four years after joining Coutts & Co in 1954, Money-Coutts worked in various different parts of the bank, gaining experience in the City office and in a number of West End branches. He also served secondments in several organisations with Coutts connections, including Coutts’ owner National Provincial Bank; the stockbrokers James Capel; discount brokers Jessel Toynbee & Co; and Robert Fleming & Co, investment bankers.

In 1958 Money-Coutts joined the board of Coutts and between 1961 and 1966 served as resident director at the City office in Lombard Street. At this time, Money-Coutts became very interested in progressing the bank’s plans for computerisation. He was involved in selecting the model to be used, and in the implementation of Coutts’ computer accounting system, which was fully operational by 1963.

By the late 1960s it was decided that directors should have a specific area of interest and Money-Coutts assumed responsibility for a number of functions grouped together under the heading Management Services. Shortly afterwards, a report by management consultants McKinsey & Co recommended further alterations to the bank’s management structure. As a result, in 1970 Money-Coutts became executive director (later known as managing director), responsible for the day-to-day running of the bank.

David Money-Coutts was additionally appointed chairman of Coutts in 1976. He continued as managing director until 1986.

In 1991 Money-Coutts became chairman of the newly formed Coutts & Co Group, which comprised Coutts & Co in London, Coutts & Co AG in Zurich and Coutts & Co Trust Holdings Ltd based in the Isle of Man with other offices around the world.

He retired as chairman of Coutts in 1993 and as a non-executive director in 1996. 

National Westminster Bank

In 1970 Coutts’ owner National Provincial Bank merged with Westminster Bank to create National Westminster Bank. One of the key characteristics of the new bank was its decentralised structure, which put decision-making power in the hands of regional boards around the country. In 1969 – before NatWest had even begun trading under its new name – Money-Coutts was appointed to the first South East regional board.

In 1976 he joined the main board of NatWest. He remained a director until 1990. From 1989 to 1992 he was chairman of NatWest’s Southern advisory board, and from 1990 to 1992, a member of its UK advisory board.

Other directorships

David Money-Coutts’ other directorships included:

  • M&G Group plc: director, 1987-97; non-executive chairman, 1991-7
  • Gerrard Group plc (formerly Gerrard & National Holdings): director, 1969-99; deputy chairman, 1969-88.
  • United States & General Trust Corporation Ltd: director, 1964-73
  • Dun & Bradstreet Ltd: director, 1973-87
  • Charities Investment Managers: chairman, 1983-2000.

Charitable and public service, honours and titles

In 1962 David Money-Coutts continued Coutts’ long-standing connection with the Middlesex Hospital by joining the hospital’s board. In 1965 he became chairman of the hospital's finance committee. His involvement with the Middlesex continued until 2000, when he retired as a special trustee.

In 1959 Money-Coutts commenced his involvement with the National Association of Almshouses, which provides advice to the trustees of almshouses trusts. Money-Coutts was honorary treasurer, 1960-92, and remained a member of the advisory board for the rest of his life.

Money-Coutts was a custodian trustee of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, 1967-2000, and in 2012 was still president of the charity’s Reading branch.

Other bodies in which David Money-Coutts took an active role included University College London and University College Hospital; Mansfield College, Oxford; the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields; Bloomsbury Health Authority; Mountbatten Memorial Trust; the Scout Association; and Institute of Sports & Exercise Medicine. He was chairman of the Old Etonian Trust, 1976-2001, and an honorary fellow of Eton College.

David Money-Coutts was appointed KCVO in 1991.

Family life and death

Sir David Money-Coutts was married with three children.

He died on 25 June 2012.

Related publications

  • Obituaries in the Daily Telegraph, The Times and Financial Times