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January 31, 2023

Hampden & Co’s Jeremy Vaughan: ‘Most private banks aren’t banks at all’

Managing director of Hampden & Co, Jeremy Vaughan, sits down with Spear's to talk about the importance of individualised client service for private banks

By Spear's Partners

Hampden & Co was established in 2013 and, despite its youth, has built up an enthusiastic and loyal clientele. It has won The Spear’s Award for best UK private bank twice: once in 2018 and now again in 2022.

Jeremy Vaughan, managing director of banking, puts the company’s success down to its focus on core banking activity, rather than diversifying into other products.

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Spear's Awards
Guests attended the 2022 Spear’s Awards at the Grosvenor Hotel on Park Lane to celebrate the innovation and success of the top service providers and client advisers. Image: Aidan Synnott

‘Most private banks aren’t banks at all,’ he tells Spear’s over lunch at Ten Trinity Square. ‘They’re wealth management organisations that can do some banking. You’ve got some calling themselves private banks that don’t do any banking at all. Banking in its truest sense is taking deposits, running current accounts, moving money around the world, lending money. When we opened we could honestly say we were unique in as far as we did nothing but the traditional banking bit.’

Order your copy of the 2023 edition of the Spear’s 500

Hampden places highly individualised customer service above all other values. Vaughan himself spends days every month on the road, visiting clients in different parts of the country. Every customer has a dedicated personal banker with a team of assistants dealing with everyday transactions. New recruits are selected for experience with complex financial structures, making them more able to deal with the network of specialist advisers many HNWs make use of.

‘We want to be part of the client’s circle of advisers,’ says Vaughan. ‘By not offering any other services we can work with their accountant, their financial planner, their tax adviser, and be part of that team. The wealthier the client becomes, the more they need specialist advice in those things. They will have a tax adviser separate from their accountant, for example, because you can’t be the best at everything.’

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Intimate knowledge of this web of advisers and a comprehensive view of clients’ finances enables Hampden bankers to make decisions on lending out of reach to high street banks.

‘Clients of the average bank on the street don’t need any of that… Our clients, by their very nature, have circumstances the computer would not be able to give you an answer to.

‘Taking the holistic approach that people associate with private banking, if a client says we’ve got a business account with my consultancy business, say, we will look after that as well – unlike high street banks, where you have to have the personal account here and the business account there, it’s not joined up. Clients tell me a call to us is not a call they’re apprehensive about making. They know they can just make one call.’

Main image: Jeremy Vaughan photographed for Spear’s at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square by Sebastian Nevols

More from Spear’s

Billionaire Strive Masiyiwa and Wagatha Christie Lawyer among 2022 Spear’s Awards winners

The influential legacy of banking great Sir Evelyn de Rothschild

The 2022 Spear’s Wealth Management Index

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