Did you know there are banks today that have been operating since the 1400s?

Banks have actually existed since ancient Assyria and Babylonia when merchants gave grain loans to farmers and traders. However, the modern concept of banking started around the 14th century, in Italy.

Whether for political reasons, overspending, financial crashes, war, or family issues, the majority of banks have been unable to last for more than a century. This is what makes our list below extraordinary.

The oldest bank on our list started in 1472. That’s 500+ years of political, technological, and societal shifts. Most importantly, that’s 500+ years of economical and financial crises.

Here is our list of the oldest financial institutions around the world that have been operating since their establishment…


Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is a bank in Siena, Italy that started in 1472 as a Mount of Piety (small credit and pawnbroker institutions created in medieval Italy to support the poor).

In 1624, BMPS adopted progressive operating structures which turned it into the modern concept of a bank. It was then granted the revenues from the state-owned pasture lands in the Maremma by Grand Duke Ferdinand II of Tuscany. Consequently, BMPS is debated to be the world’s oldest or second oldest bank, depending on the definition used for the term “bank“.

In 2017, following a capital increase of €8.3 billion, the Ministry of Economy and Finance became BMPS’s majority shareholder.

Today, BMPS is a large retail bank with 20,000+ employees and 1,700+ branches. It provides various banking and finance services, including traditional banking activities, special-purpose loans, asset management, insurance, and investment banking.

In 2021, Statista named BMPS as the fifth largest bank in Italy with total assets at €137.87 billion.


Berenberg is a privately owned multi-national bank based in Hamburg, Germany. It was created in 1590 and is debated to be the world’s oldest or second oldest bank still operating, depending on the definition used for the term “bank“. It is also the world’s oldest investment bank.

Today, Berenberg is primarily involved in investment banking and private banking for wealthy customers.

In 2022, its net profit for the year was €55 million. Its total assets were €7.7 billion. And its assets under management were €38.5 billion.

Berenberg has offices in Germany, Europe and the USA, including Frankfurt, London, and New York.


Sveriges Riksbank is the central bank of Sweden. It is the world’s oldest central bank and the fourth oldest bank in operation.

Riksbank was created in 1668. Its goal is to ensure that inflation is low and stable, contribute to the stability and efficiency of the financial system, and make sure that payments can be made.

The Riksbank also issues Sweden’s banknotes and coins.


C. Hoare & Co. is the UK’s oldest operating privately-owned bank. It was created in 1672 and has been owned continuously by the Hoare family for 12 generations.

Hoare is owned on an unlimited liability basis with no external financing. They have an est 400 employees. According to their 2022 Annual Report, their profit before tax was £16.5 million. They have £416 million in share capital and reserves.

Hoare offers a range of contemporary banking services tailored to individual and/or business requirements. Their services include online and mobile banking, deposit accounts, foreign currency accounts, bespoke lending, foreign exchange, and trust & estate planning. They also offer family office services.


Metzler Bank is Germany’s oldest bank. It opened in 1674 and has maintained an unbroken tradition of family ownership.

Metzler Bank primarily provides individual capital market services for institutions and private clients. Their services focus on asset management, capital markets, corporate finance, and private banking.

In 2020, Metzler had 830 employees, assets totaling €6.3 billion, and a net income totaling €2.3 million.