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Private Banking

The management of private investments was the foundation upon which Rothschild banking was built. Since the formation of the first partnership, the Rothschild banking houses managed the assets of, and provided credit to, a small and distinguished clientele, which included Royal houses across Europe, politicians and statesmen, and noted persons of the day.

It was Mayer Amschel's prudent and successful management of the finances of the Elector of Hesse-Kassel which brought him into the world of banking. When Nathan Rothschild permanently established his banking business in London in 1809, one of his first major transactions was the investment of £550,000 of the Elector's funds in British government securities and bullion. The investments proved extremely lucrative to the Elector, then exiled by Napoleon from his home state. The success of this business laid the foundations for the Rothschilds' rise to prominence. 

Private banking services in the modern era

In ther twentieth century, clients from around the world were served by NMR's Wealth Management & Trust business. Rothschild Bank International Limited, based in Guernsey offers a range of private client banking services including current accounts, credit cards, foreign exchange facilities, deposit taking and lending. 

The NMR Banking Division provided private banking services to clients including 'Rothschild Reserve', a deposit-taking business that offers fixed rate deposits to high value savers in the UK.

NMR Banking Division: NMR Traveller's Cheques, sundry papers and specimen cheques, 1959; 1966-1970

000/216, 000/339, 000/1326, 2 files

Traveller's cheques were first issued on 1 January 1772 by the London Credit Exchange Company for use in European cities. In 1874, Thomas Cook was issuing 'circular notes' that operated in the manner of traveller's cheques. American Express developed a large-scale international traveller's cheque system in 1891. Between the 1950s and the 1990s, traveller's cheques became one of the main ways that people took money out of the country for use in foreign countries without the risks associated with carrying large amounts of cash.

  • specimens of the first NMR Traveller's cheques issued in 1959;
  • specimens from 1966 recording the change in style introduced in that year;
  • NMR traveller's cheques issued on nehalf of private clients.

NMR Banking Division: specimen certificates of deposit, c.1995

000/2228, 1 file

NMR specimen certificates of deposit, c.1995: Specimen Certifcates of deposit (US dollars), N M Rothschild & Sons Limited.

NMR Banking Division: examples of (expired) NMR/Rothschild & Co. corporate credit cards, 2016-2018

000/2505, 5 items

Examples of expired NMR/Rothschild & Co. corporate credit cards issued to members of the Archive staff. Corporate credit cards were issued to senior Rothschild staff for use for business purchases. Cards were handled from the NMR Guernsey office. Some cards feature an image of the Rothschild family crest. 

NMR Banking Division: marketing materials, 2003; 2006

000/1346, 000/1974, 2 items

NMR Banking Division: sundry marketing materials:

  • Promotional brochure 'The Private Client' produced by Rothschild Private Management Limited 2003;
  • Private Banking and Trust booklet, 2006.

NMR Banking Division: 'Rothschild Reserve', marketing materials, 2009-2010

000/1993, 1 file

Rothschild Reserve was a Bank Deposit product offered by N M Rothschild & Sons between 2009 and 2010. Copies of marketing material produced in connection with this product:

  • 'Rothschild Reserve' 2009 issue: Rothschild Reserve was a 4.35% Gross AER 2 year fixed rate Bank Deposit product offered by N M Rothschild & Sons in June 2009: copies of Rothschild Reserve 2009 brochure; application form; reply envelopes and Rothschild Reserve headed paper.
  • 'Rothschild Reserve' 2010 issue: Rothschild Reserve was a 4.55% Gross AER 3 year fixed rate Bank Deposit product offered by N M Rothschild & Sons in March 2010: copy of 2010 Rothschild Reserve brochure.

Private clients: client events, sundry papers, 2002; 2011

000/1189, 000/2064, 2 files

Private Banking, client events, sundry papers:

  • Menu card for a dinner for private clients held by Private Clients Department at New Court, 14 November 2002, featuring historic archive images.
  • Papers concerning Rothschild private client event, 'Les Azurrales', Cap Ferrat, 20 Aug 2011.