Letter: Bank on it ...

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From Mr Alwyn James

Sir: On the first page of your round-up of Britain's private banks last week, you claimed that Coutts was the oldest British bank. On the second page, you gave its founder date as 1692 and that of Hoare & Co as 1672.

In fact, neither bank is Britain's oldest. Although it is difficult to determine when a jeweller who did a bit of banking on the side became a banker who did a bit of jewellery on the side, most observers agree that Child & Co, with business records dating back to 1585, was providing banking services decades before the other two.

Yours faithfully,

Alwyn James

Head of Internal Communications

The Royal Bank of Scotland

London, EC1

23 January