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Private banks are banks owned by either an individual or a general partner(s) with limited partner(s). Private banks are not incorporated. In any such case, the creditors can look to both the "entirety of the bank's assets" as well as the entirety of the sole-proprietor's/general-partners' assets.
These banks have a long tradition in Switzerland, dating back to at least the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685). Private banks also have a long tradition in the UK where C. Hoare & Co. has been in business since 1672.
There were many private banks in Europe, but most have now become incorporated companies, so the term is rarely true any more. Today, the term "private bank" can also refer to the financial institution specializing in financial advice and services for high-net-worth individuals (private banking).
"Private banks" can also refer to non-government owned banks in general, in contrast to government-owned (or nationalized) banks, which were prevalent in communist, socialist and some social democratic states in the 20th century.
Examples of notable private banks
This list contains two types of banks:
- Unincorporated banks owned by either an individual or a general partner(s) with limited partner(s).
- Incorporated banks specialized in wealth management for high-net-worth individuals.
- Compagnie Financière Edmond de Rothschild, Paris, founded in 1953; a member of Edmond de Rothschild Group
- Société Générale
- KBL Richelieu, Paris, a member of KBL epb Group
- Delbruck Bethmann Maffei, Frankfurt, founded in 1748; a member of ABN AMRO
- M. M. Warburg & Co., Hamburg, founded in 1798
- Sal. Oppenheim, Cologne, founded in 1789; a member of Deutsche Bank
- Von Linden Bank, Frankfurt, founded in 1958
- Banca Sella Group, founded in 1886.
- LGT Bank, Vaduz, founded in 1920; owned by Princely House of Liechtenstein
- VP Bank AG, Vaduz, founded in 1956.
- Maduro & Curiel's Bank, Willemstad, founded in 1917
- MeesPierson, Rotterdam, founded in 1720: a member of ABN AMRO
- Theodoor Gilissen Bankiers, Amsterdam, founded in 1881; a member of KBL epb Group
- Banque privée Edmond de Rothschild, Geneva, founded in 1923; a member of Edmond de Rothschild Group
- EFG International, Zurich, founded in 1995; a member of EFG Group
- Julius Baer, Zurich, founded in 1890
- La Roche & Co., Basel, founded in 1787
- Landolt & Cie, Lausanne, founded in 1780
- Lombard Odier & Cie, Geneva, founded in 1796
- NBAD Private Bank (Suisse) SA, Geneva, founded in 2007; a member of National Bank of Abu Dhabi Group
- Pictet & Cie, Geneva, founded in 1805
- Union Bancaire Privée, Geneva, founded in 1969
- Clifton Goldridge, Geneva, founded in 1991
- Arbuthnot Latham & Co., London, founded in 1833
- Brown Shipley, London, founded in 1810; a member of KBL epb Group
- Cater Allen, London, founded in 1816: a member of Santander
- C. Hoare & Co., London, founded in 1672
- Coutts & Co., London, founded in 1692; a member of Royal Bank of Scotland
- Duncan Lawrie, London, founded in 1860; a member of Camellia Plc Group
- Hambros Bank, London, founded in 1839; a subsidiary of Société Générale
- Harrods Bank, Knightsbridge, London, founded in 1893;
- Kleinwort Benson, London, founded in 1786; a member of RHJ International
- Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., New York City, founded in 1818
- Clifton Goldridge, New York City, founded in 1989