UK's oldest bank steps into the digital age

UK's oldest bank steps into the digital age

C Hoare & Co. the UK's oldest bank, is to take its first step into the digital age by launching a mobile app and contactless cards.

Founded in 1672, the bank prides itself on its rich heritage and traditional values of high-touch advisory services for its well-to-do customers.

The Board is comprised of seven shareholding partners, all descendants of the bank's founder, and its past client list includes such historical figures as Lord Byron and Jane Austen.

In his summer letter to customers, Alexander Hoare, says the firm is embarking on plans to modernise 300 years of banking practices, moving reams of paperwork into digital archives.

"We are about to scan all paperwork and modernise 300 years of working practices," he writes. "Hopefully in the New Year we will fully adopt the digital age by introducing a mobile app for customers...We also plan to offer contactless cards before the year end."

At the same time, Hoare also warns about the perils of the modern age, noting that 65 customers had reported hacking of their e-mail accounts, giving rise to 23 fraudulent requests to send funds out of the bank.

The bank's shift into the 21st Century comes as the private banking sector faces up to competition from a range of new online wealth management platforms, offering fast, fuss-free service at a marginal price point to traditional firms.

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