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Coutts penis hat row sparks fresh sexism probe

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Coutts penis hat row sparks fresh sexism probe

Coutts has launched a fresh probe into staff behaviour after an employee was photographed wearing a penis-shaped hat following an event during a company-sponsored charity cricket tour of Rwanda.

A photograph of the incident had circulated on social media. Following the criticism, Coutts executives launched an internal investigation into the behaviour of the cricket team, and at least two members received warnings, the Wall Street Journal reported.

It follows a similar inquiry by the bank into appropriate conduct which led to the resignation of a senior banker earlier this year.

‘We are aware that a wholly inappropriate and insensitive item was worn by a member of staff on a recent charity visit,' a Coutts spokesperson told the paper. 'This poor judgment does not reflect the values of the bank.'

Seperately, a female employee told a senior manager that she was subject to racial and sexual abuse by a member of the company cricket team in December 2017. A person close to the complaint told the WSJ the bank had not acted on the allegation.

A female former employee has additionally sued the bank alleging sexual harassment and gender discrimination, according to Coutts employees familiar with the case, which is ongoing.

The allegations have stirred up concerns that the bank has been slow to deal with its work place culture and that it is demeaning to women.

In April, the bank had invited female bankers to share their views in a small ‘closed door’ group.

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