United Kingdom’s oldest privately owned bank

C. Hoare & Co. is the United Kingdom’s oldest privately owned bank founded by Richard Hoare in 1672. The bank ownership have been passed on through the continued direct ownership of the Hoare family and a the core of their business are the values of honesty and care. Before moving to Fleet Street, the bank was located at the sign of the Golden Bottle on London’s Cheapside.

C. Hoare & Co. is the sole survivor of more than 750 private deposit banks which were established in the 17th and 18th centuries in England and Wales. The bank is still owned and led by 10th and 11th generation members of the Hoare family.

The bank is dedicated to offering select customers a truly personal service. Taking time to understand their customer’s individual situation is key, before recommending a team of expert advisers to help manage their wealth. The customers share their values of loyalty, honesty and history on which the bank was founded in 1672 and it is their aim to build long term relationships, which will last through the generations.

Clients of the bank are like members of an exclusive club. Would-be clients need recommendations from at least two existing ones before the bank will consider taking them on. Moreover, the bank regularly declines to serve wealthy individuals who are not what they consider “gentlemen”, because insufficiently respectable individuals might embarrass clients through association.

The bank also claims to have records of nearly every debit and credit ever made by its customers since its inception in 1672. While some clients prefer to leave the management of their money in the safe hands of Hoare & Co for decades at a time without involving themselves too much, for those who like to drop by the bank more often, the doors can be opened at any time by ringing on the doorbell. Bankers are similarly open to phone calls at any time day or night. The bank even keeps a guest room on the top floor that clients are welcome to make use of. That is not the sort of service you get at other banks.

A typical client needs about 5 million pounds in U.K. assets to bank with C. Hoare. Another barrier to entry is the meeting with a partner, which enables the family to find like-minded clients they can build relationships with.

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