Alexander's Letters

Alexander's Winter Letter 2023

posted 02 Feb 2023 3 mins

In the summer we celebrated the 350th anniversary of Sir Richard Hoare opening his own books. Colleagues and cousins were invited to large garden parties in Hampshire in July and customers were invited to a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, which will now take place in March. 

Also to mark this anniversary, the Golden Bottle Trust made special donations totalling £350,000 to innovative charities we have long supported. The Golden Bottle Trust also doubled its commitment to Snowball (, an investment fund delivering intentional, additional and measurable social impact, as well as good investment returns. Snowball postulates that it is just good investment practice for investors and their investment managers to have regard to what their capital achieves.

On 1st September, C. Hoare & Co. became a B-Corporation. As such we formally undertake to consider all our stakeholders, not just shareholders. With a mission to perpetuate a profitable family bank, it makes every sense to look after all in our community as we pursue our purpose to be good bankers and good citizens.

Back in 2021 our CEO, Diana Brightmore-Armour, committed us to agile working, and our operating strategy has been to become a simpler, faster, better bank. Much work has been done behind the scenes, and customers should find it easier dealing with the bank.  As ever, there is more to do. We are particularly interested to hear from customers about what they want from open banking.

Giles Andrews joined the board in the summer. He brings banking and FinTech experience with him. Amy Rodwell, our first partner of the 12th generation, safely delivered a 13th-generation cousin in November.

On 4th December 2008, the Bank of England cut its base rate from 3% to 2%, but we declined to reduce our base rate below 3%. We never believed it would take them 14 years to return to a more natural rate, but we are glad now to be reunited with the Bank of England on base rates.

“Our earth is degenerate in these latter days: bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; every man wants to write a book, and the end of the world is evidently approaching.” These words were inscribed on an Assyrian tablet nearly five thousand years ago.

Autumn 2022 saw some economic and political turmoil in the UK. This is to be expected in a society that has forgotten the lessons of economic history and the scriptures, and where many speak with forked tongues. 

For a good history of the hazard of cheap money, I recommend The Price of Time (where you can find the above quote) by Edward Chancellor, a multi-generation customer of the bank, and for the lessons in scripture I recommend the Holy Bible.

Alexander Hoare
January 2023