UK’s oldest bank, C Hoare & Co, goes digital with Backbase
C Hoare & Co, Britain’s oldest bank (and the fourth oldest in the world), is modernising its front-end operations with Backbase, a specialist provider of omnichannel banking software.
London-based C Hoare was founded in 1672 by Sir Richard Hoare and remains family-owned and run today. It focuses on private banking and investment management. It employs around 400 people.
Backbase’s digital banking platform will interface to C Hoare’s legacy back-end software, Financial Objects’ Activebank. The bank owns the source code to Activebank, as its developer, Financial Objects, no longer exists (it was taken over by Temenos back in 2008) and the system was sunsetted. C Hoare was among a number of banks that opted to purchase the source code.
On the investment management side, SS&C Technologies and Simcorp list C Hoare as a user of their HiPortfolio and Simcorp Dimension systems respectively. It is understood that the new omnichannel solution is being interfaced to the investment management software too.
The initiative to go digital has been under way since last year.
As part of the venture, the bank plans to launch a mobile banking app and offer contactless cards to customers.
There is also a new COO at the bank, Stuart Bates. He is responsible for IT, banking operations, investment management operations, change management and the management of C Hoare’s property estate. Bates joined last year. He comes with 15 years of experience of working in the private banking sector, including at Julius Baer and Credit Suisse.
Alexander Hoare, a partner in C Hoare, says the bank is keen to “modernise 300 years of banking practices”.
He also notes, on a different subject: “In the book of Genesis, God promises not to flood the world with waters again, and shortly afterwards He saw fit to confound the City of Babel as it was becoming too powerful. The Bible is entirely silent on the subject of the world being flooded with money printed by central banks.”
Backbase: who’s on the client list
The Amsterdam-based vendor has been going strong since its inception in 2003.
Backbase now claims over 60 customers across 25 countries in Europe, Asia and Asia Pacific, North America and the Middle East. Among the big names are Barclays, ABN Amro, ING, Goldman Sachs and Westpac.
The vendor says its platform serves 70+ million customers today, in 12 different languages.
2015 was its best year yet. It grew its staff to 365 people (from 225), doubled its UK office in size and opened a new office in Atlanta, US.
Backbase’s new clients include:
- Altyn-i Bank
- Aldermore Bank
- Chase Bank
- Doha Bank
- First Data
- Metro Bank
- National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD)
- Orange County’s Credit Union
- Silicon Valley Bank
- Sparebanken Sogn og Fjordane
- Swiss Re
- Tucson Federal Credit Union