The Queen's bank is investigating an employee for wearing an obscene hat on a work trip

  • A Coutts employee was pictured wearing a rude hat during a company-sponsored charity trip.
  • The pictures were posted on Twitter and have since been the subject of an internal investigation.
  • The probe come just months after a senior staff member at the bank resigned following allegations of verbal and physical harassment.

Coutts, the bank used by the British Royal Family, is at the centre of a second sexism scandal of the year after images emerged of a staff member wearing a lewd hat during a work sponsored trip.

The pictures, which were posted on Twitter in October 2017, show an unknown Coutts employee sitting at a dinner table wearing a hat adorned with what appears to be a novelty penis. It is believed that the incident, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, took place during a charity cricket trip to Rwanda sponsored by the bank.

You can see the images, which were posted by Jessica McKinney, a physical therapist who was dining in the same restaurant as the Coutts employees.

The trip was undertaken to celebrate the opening of a new national cricket stadium in Rwanda, which the bank had raised money for. It was widely promoted on social media and in the financial press.

“We are aware that a wholly inappropriate and insensitive item was worn by a member of staff on a recent charity visit. This poor judgment does not reflect the values of the bank,” a Coutts spokeswoman said.

The Journal reports that the bank, which is owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, launched an internal investigation into the behaviour of those on the trip soon after the incident. Two people were given warnings as a result. That investigation is coming to a close, the report added, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Journal reports that Coutts’ chief investment officer Alan Higgins asked the people who sent the tweets to delete them after the picture surfaced, saying that the behaviour of the staff members was “unacceptable,” but that they should see “a better side of the team.” The tweets were not deleted and remain on Twitter as of May 18.

The accusations come just months after a senior staff member at the bank named Harry Keogh resigned following another Wall Street Journal report, this time focused on “a 2015 internal investigation into allegations of unwanted physical and verbal harassment against women by him and other male colleagues.”

You can read the Wall Street Journal’s full story here.

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