Photos: C. Hoare & Co, Britain’s oldest surviving independent bank

The London firm was started in 1672 by Richard Hoare and has tended to the affairs of diarist Samuel Pepys, poet Lord Byron and novelist Jane Austen. That’s almost a hundred years older than the famous Rothschild dynasty, which was founded in the 1760s. After more than three centuries of continuous operation, the family still runs the show, overseeing about 4.4 billion pounds ($5.6 billion) of deposits and sticking to a traditional way of doing business.

Updated On Jul 06, 2019 04:04 PM IST 9 Photos
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Traffic passes the front of C. Hoare & Co., Britain’s oldest surviving independent bank, at 37 Fleet Street in London. In the U.K. there’s old money, really old money and then there’s C. Hoare & Co. The London firm was started in 1672 by Richard Hoare and has tended to the affairs of diarist Samuel Pepys, poet Lord Byron and novelist Jane Austen. (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

Traffic passes the front of C. Hoare & Co., Britain’s oldest surviving independent bank, at 37 Fleet Street in London. In the U.K. there’s old money, really old money and then there’s C. Hoare & Co. The London firm was started in 1672 by Richard Hoare and has tended to the affairs of diarist Samuel Pepys, poet Lord Byron and novelist Jane Austen. (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

Updated on Jul 06, 2019 04:04 PM IST
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The main entrance for C. Hoare & Co., Britain’s oldest surviving independent bank, includes a small gold symbol above the doorway, the “Sign of the Golden Bottle”. “You go in and you talk,” said Islay Robinson, chief executive officer of Enness, a mortgage broker with dozens of high-net-worth clients who have borrowed from the bank. “They lend their own money and tend to be able to come up with solutions that other banks can’t.” (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

The main entrance for C. Hoare & Co., Britain’s oldest surviving independent bank, includes a small gold symbol above the doorway, the “Sign of the Golden Bottle”. “You go in and you talk,” said Islay Robinson, chief executive officer of Enness, a mortgage broker with dozens of high-net-worth clients who have borrowed from the bank. “They lend their own money and tend to be able to come up with solutions that other banks can’t.” (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

Updated on Jul 06, 2019 04:04 PM IST
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Alexander Hoare, partner and the 11th generation member of the Hoare family, poses for a photograph in the enclosed garden of C. Hoare & Co. “It’s a constant tension because part of what makes us completely different to the clearing banks is that we are smaller and more personable and more human and more relatable to customers,” “We don’t want to be herded and we don’t want to grow. We want to be special,” Alexander said. (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

Alexander Hoare, partner and the 11th generation member of the Hoare family, poses for a photograph in the enclosed garden of C. Hoare & Co. “It’s a constant tension because part of what makes us completely different to the clearing banks is that we are smaller and more personable and more human and more relatable to customers,” “We don’t want to be herded and we don’t want to grow. We want to be special,” Alexander said. (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

Updated on Jul 06, 2019 04:04 PM IST
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The bank’s oldest surviving cheque from William Hale, addressed to Richard Hoare, at the “Sign of the Golden Bottle”, in Cheapside, dates from July 1676 and sits on display in the museum at C. Hoare & Co. The last of the 10th generation of partners retired last year, leaving the bank in the hands of six partners from the 11th generation who have continued its evolution. In March, they opened the first outpost outside London. (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

The bank’s oldest surviving cheque from William Hale, addressed to Richard Hoare, at the “Sign of the Golden Bottle”, in Cheapside, dates from July 1676 and sits on display in the museum at C. Hoare & Co. The last of the 10th generation of partners retired last year, leaving the bank in the hands of six partners from the 11th generation who have continued its evolution. In March, they opened the first outpost outside London. (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

Updated on Jul 06, 2019 04:04 PM IST
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The double headed eagle, part of the Hoare family coat of arms since the early 1700’s, sits on the wall alongside a collection of ledgers recording the bank’s transactions dating back centuries. The restraint has built a valuable enterprise. The partnership’s latest accounts show a book value of about 370 million pounds, putting the family among the U.K.’s richest on paper. But the Hoares said they have no interest in selling. (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

The double headed eagle, part of the Hoare family coat of arms since the early 1700’s, sits on the wall alongside a collection of ledgers recording the bank’s transactions dating back centuries. The restraint has built a valuable enterprise. The partnership’s latest accounts show a book value of about 370 million pounds, putting the family among the U.K.’s richest on paper. But the Hoares said they have no interest in selling. (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

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A collection of leather bound ledgers recording the bank’s transactions dating back centuries sit on display at C. Hoare & Co. (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

A collection of leather bound ledgers recording the bank’s transactions dating back centuries sit on display at C. Hoare & Co. (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

Updated on Jul 06, 2019 04:04 PM IST
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The original “Golden Bottle”, which marked the location of the bank before street numbers were invented sits on display in the museum. “If people were in it for the liquidity event, it would have been sold a long time ago,” said Rennie Hoare, 33, who became a partner last year. His ancestor Richard Hoare first started to trade at the “sign of the golden bottle” in 1672. (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

The original “Golden Bottle”, which marked the location of the bank before street numbers were invented sits on display in the museum. “If people were in it for the liquidity event, it would have been sold a long time ago,” said Rennie Hoare, 33, who became a partner last year. His ancestor Richard Hoare first started to trade at the “sign of the golden bottle” in 1672. (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

Updated on Jul 06, 2019 04:04 PM IST
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The “Sign of the Golden Bottle” sits on balcony railings above the entrance to C. Hoare & Co. “Our seventh generation got way too wealthy and burnt through a fantastic fortune,” “There are two things that can destroy a family business: the business and the family, and they both have to be kept in order,” said Alexander Hoare. (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

The “Sign of the Golden Bottle” sits on balcony railings above the entrance to C. Hoare & Co. “Our seventh generation got way too wealthy and burnt through a fantastic fortune,” “There are two things that can destroy a family business: the business and the family, and they both have to be kept in order,” said Alexander Hoare. (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

Updated on Jul 06, 2019 04:04 PM IST
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A set of cartoons drawn by the bank’s staff, dating from the 1890’s sit on display in the museum. “Look, 95% of our energy is on the hurlyburly of the modern world,” Alexander Hoare said. “Preserving the memory is nice to have at the end of the day. It is the icing on the cake.” (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

A set of cartoons drawn by the bank’s staff, dating from the 1890’s sit on display in the museum. “Look, 95% of our energy is on the hurlyburly of the modern world,” Alexander Hoare said. “Preserving the memory is nice to have at the end of the day. It is the icing on the cake.” (Bryn Colton / Bloomberg)

Updated on Jul 06, 2019 04:04 PM IST
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