C. Hoare & Co., England’s Oldest Private Bank

Little is known about the life of goldsmith apprentice Richard Hoare, but his legacy as a private banker  – C. Hoare & Co. – has been passed on from generation to generation. C. Hoare & Co., established in 1672, is England’s oldest privately owned banking house, today managed by the 11th generation of Hoare’s direct descendants. The bank has a long and interesting history, making it an admired and trusted private banking institution.

As one of the five oldest banks in the world, C. Hoare & Co. is a pioneer in the financial services industry. Sir Hoare has aptly chosen a sign for the bank when he established it centuries ago; he used the Sign of the Golden Bottle, as gilded bottles were a symbol of wealth used by goldsmiths back in the days. True enough, the company has been able to uphold  its image. This private banking institution has withstood the changing times, despite the absence of ties.

A couple of notable points in history: World War I and II forced employees to evacuate the building, leaving it in a standstill for that duration; fire almost ravaged the bank, only to be saved by a few brave employees; and despite left and right occurrences of mergers and acquisitions, C. Hoare & Co. remains completely family-owned.

Having undergone difficult times during the early 20th century, the bank managed to revive its fortune and restore its credibility. Most private banks were liquidated or absorbed by larger banks during the war, but C. Hoare & Co. took the risk and decided not to give in – a decision which proved to be correct.

Today, the bank has approximately £4.8 billion in assets. The institution prides itself for not having allegiances to any other institution. Their strengths lie in their friendly, professional employees, fast and consistent decision-making, as well as high standards of service.