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Banking 101 -

Exclusive private banks: How to find the right fit

The world's most exclusive private banks offer specialised financial services and products to high-net-worth individuals. While these establishments can appear to be the preserve of a privileged few, private banks' membership has evolved from inherited wealth towards a more diverse client base, with flexible entry criteria.

Private banking clients enjoy unparalleled personalised service, tailored advice, and benefits. With access to a range of exclusive products and services, and invitations to select networks and events, high-net-worth individuals are offered a seamless service from dedicated relationship managers at private banks.

Wealthy clients who qualify for private banking services typically meet and exceed the minimum requirement level, which can be upwards of £500,000 in investible assets, deposits or borrowing needs.

The difference between private banking and wealth management

Private banking and wealth management are sometimes used interchangeably, and we can understand why. The best private banks in the UK also offer wealth management services, helping clients manage their financial affairs under one roof, benefitting from a private bank's strong relationship service and the expert advice a wealth manager can offer. The main difference between the two is in their focus areas.

  • Private banking offers a broad range of specialist banking and lending services, alongside the support and guidance of a trusted private banker. Typically, private banks like Arbuthnot Latham take your wider wealth into consideration when assessing how much you can borrow and offer specialised borrowing services.
  • Wealth management focuses on developing a long-term financial plan designed to help you protect, grow, and transfer your wealth in a tax-efficient way, while ensuring sufficient income to maintain your desired lifestyle. While all plans are different, typical solutions include investment management, retirement planning, and inheritance tax mitigation.

Choosing the best private bank for your lifestyle

Which private bank is best? Here are some key factors to consider when choosing the right one for your lifestyle and requirements.

What to look for when choosing a bank:


With recent banking failures, it is now increasingly important to be confident that your bank has strong foundations. Liquidity risk and credit risk are among the important determinants of banking sector stability.

At Arbuthnot Latham, we value long-term stability. Our conservative approach to lending is reflected in our strong levels of capital and liquidity and our high-quality loan book. Unlike other banks, we lend out a much smaller percentage of our deposit base. This put us in a strong position to weather periods of uncertainty and continue to serve clients throughout the economic cycle.


It is essential to find a private banking partner with strong values and a commitment to building trust.


A larger private bank may offer you a more comprehensive range of services, and they are often linked to high street banks. A smaller private bank may suit those looking for a more boutique, relationship-led banking experience.


Private banks in the UK are authorised by the Prudential Regulatory Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Ensure the bank you’re considering is regulated by the appropriate local body.

Team structure and location

Look at how each bank separates their private banking clients into different sectors – such as entrepreneurs, international clients, or clients in specific regions. Find out which banks have dedicated client desks for your particular segment or location.

At Arbuthnot Latham, we believe in personal connections.

We take the time to get to know you – personally and professionally – to understand your goals, aspirations for the future, and how you want your wealth to work for you. And once we understand your needs, we deliver expert solutions swiftly, leaving you free to focus on enjoying the things that matter to you.

Find out more about our private banking services.

Further reading

Helping you go further

Relationships matter. We get to know your financial needs and long-term ambitions, delivering a service that lasts a lifetime.


Becoming a client

Take control of your finances today by completing our enquiry form. Alternatively, you can call us on the number below and one of our team will be more than happy to talk about your future.

+44 (0)20 7012 2500

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