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January 22, 2024

Tradition and innovation create winning formula for Weatherbys, the Private Bank of the Year (UK)

Spear's Awards 2023 winner: Weatherbys Private Bank embraces innovation while staying true to the importance placed on human relationships

By Spear's Partners

Weatherbys Private Bank may have a history that stretches back 253 years, but this is not an organisation wedded to the past. The signs of modernity are everywhere. This ranges from the bank’s embrace of new technology and platforms (where half of all profits are now re-invested) to quelling the risk of fraud through educational seminars for clients and the bank’s own cybercrime prevention teams. 

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Some things change, some things stay the same

But one thing hasn’t changed over the seven generations of Weatherby family involvement: the importance placed on human relationships. ‘We’re simply asked to get to know [clients] very well and to understand what’s going on in their lives,’ says Oliver Barnett, the firm’s head of private clients. The bank’s long-standing connections with HNW families, which are often multi-generational, allow clients to receive ‘high-quality advice on their finances’ without the need for ‘manufactured products’, he adds. 

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[See also: The UK’s best private banks: the exclusive institutions UHNWs trust with their money]

One-on-one time with relationship managers is supplemented with vibrant events. The bank’s ‘Creating the Future’ conferences have explored a set of ‘the world’s most challenging and exciting issues’, including regenerative medicine and the future of money – all topics that tap into ‘things going on in our clients’ lives’, says Barnett. 

Enviable client satisfaction levels

Other events seek to empower female wealth holders – who make up nearly 50 per cent of new clients. The bank’s Weatherbys Inspires events aim to engage with this growing section of its client base. ‘So much of the world’s wealth is actually controlled by women, and what we do is really what they’re looking for,’ Shirley Coe, a senior private banker at Weatherbys, says of the seminars. Client satisfaction levels are enviable.

[See also: Who won at the Spear’s Awards 2023? The complete list of winners revealed]

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A League of Their Own

When the bank surveyed its customers, 98 per cent said they felt valued. Its net promoter score, based on how likely clients would be to recommend the bank, sits at 73, more than twice the industry’s average. That said, for Weatherbys’ relationship managers it’s the ‘spontaneous’ pieces of feedback that stay in the memory. ‘On a daily basis, we’re getting lovely emails and telephone calls. That makes you very, very proud,’ says Barnett. The firm’s collegiate nature, meanwhile, may be infectious.

‘I genuinely believe we are all working together to achieve the best outcomes for ourselves and for the clients,’ he says. 2024 is unlikely to bring a ‘big departure’ from ‘what we’ve been doing for seven generations’, Barnett adds. ‘We will inevitably make enhancements in terms of our digital offering’ but any changes will never replace ‘the human element of what we do’. ‘I would envisage us incorporating AI into our business,’ he says, ‘but in ways which free us up to spend more time on the human relationships with our clients.’ 

Click here to register for updates on the Spear’s Awards 2024

The award for Private Bank of the Year (UK) went to Weatherbys Private Bank at the Spear’s Awards 2023

This feature is published in Spear’s Magazine Issue 90. Click here to subscribe

Cover: Cat Sims

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