England's oldest private bank outsources IT

C Hoare & Co, said to be England's oldest privately owned bank, has signed a five -year outsourcing deal with Capgemini to host its IT infrastructure.

The deal will commence in June following a short transition, where the bank's main IT hardware will be moved from its headquarters in Fleet Street to a UK-based Capgemini data centre.

It was claimed that a number of IT vendors were evaluated, but that Capgemini would best improve the cost-effectiveness of IT support, provide access to expertise, and enable space in its old Fleet Street headquarters to be used for other business activities.

"Our strength as a bank lies in our provision of first-class personal service to our clients backed by high levels of efficiency and excellent data," said Alexander Hoare, chief executive of C Hoare & Co.

"We are confident that working with Capgemini will maintain and enhance the IT service which provides vital underpinning for our work."

The bank was founded in 1672 and has famous past customers including Samuel Pepys, Lord Byron and Thomas Gainsborough. It was first established at the 'sign of the Golden Bottle' in Cheapside, but moved to its current premises in Fleet Street in 1690.

The bank makes a great play of being a family business with long-term customers, but it states on its website that sophisticated technology is an essential part of the modern bank. It now employs 250 staff, with a balance sheet in excess of 1 billion.

Recently Capgemini signed a 23 million deal with steelmaker Corus and in 2007 global revenue came to 8.7 billion (6.8 billion).