Alexander's Letters

Alexander's Winter Letter 2024

posted 17 Jan 2024 Alexander Hoare 3 mins

We are delighted to introduce our new partner, Abigail Malortie. Abigail is a qualified lawyer, a new mother, and has experience working in the charity sector and the Civil Service, as well as in the commercial sector. She is of course a descendant of our founder and related to all of us.

We have also appointed Marion King as a non-executive director (subject to regulatory approval). Marion comes with deep experience gained around the world in payments and related technologies. We thank Johanna Waterous, who has stood down after six years on the board.

On the subject of payment technologies, customers are now able to use Google Pay and Apple Pay will follow shortly. Some customers are downloading transactions to their accounting packages via Open Banking and others are taking advantage of foreign-exchange transfers between currency accounts via our mobile app.

We have worked very hard over recent years to protect customers and the bank from the activities of fraudsters. The results have been relatively good, but one upshot is a very complex set of fraud parameters. With new regulations ahead, we are likely to insert more checks into payment processes to protect against soaring fraud exposures. This will inconvenience customers on occasion, but ultimately it is for your own good.

Meanwhile, if someone telephones you and says they are from the bank, the police, Microsoft or wherever, please be very sceptical and remember not to give them the keys to all your money.

Once again, please do not give out security codes over the telephone to anyone, ever.

We are selective as to which customers we take on and we try to build relationships with those who share the bank’s values and appreciate the type of relationship banking we offer. The bank’s values are apolitical. Far and away the most common reason for closing an account with us is death. Some customers leave because they no longer need or value our services. What we do not accept, and where ‘de-banking’ very occasionally occurs, is customers being rude or untruthful with our staff.

We try to deploy rare common sense in our service to customers. Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD) has some words of wisdom: “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

Alexander Hoare
January 2024