The private bank Coutts has launched an independent charity called the Coutts Foundation, with the aim of tackling poverty in the UK and abroad.
The charity said it would deliver this aim by awarding grants to a small number of organisations that address basic human needs, such as food, water, energy and access to education and healthcare.
A spokeswoman for the foundation declined to confirm how much money was at its disposal or the expected value of its annual grants.
The Coutts Foundation said it would not accept unsolicited applications for grants from charities but would instead "proactively" seek out organisations to support.
Although the foundation was launched formally this week, it was registered with the Charity Commission in February 2013 and has already made four grants of unspecified amounts.
One of these was to the Ashden Trust, a grant-making charity that supports programmes focusing on climate change and sustainable development.
The Coutts Foundation will be chaired by Rory Tapner, chief executive of Coutts, and its board will be made up of Coutts staff and independent trustees. These include Sir Christopher Geidt, the Queen’s private secretary, and Dr Andrew Sumner, co-director of the King's International Development Institute at King's College London.
"The new Coutts Foundation will extend our charitable support across all our international markets – reinforcing our core philosophy of giving to alleviate poverty," said Tapner.