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Northern Trust Bank

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LAST UPDATED: August 18th, 2022

Northern Trust Bank was founded in 1889 by reputable banker Byron Laflin Smith with the goal of serving the city’s affluent individuals and organizations. Northern Trust went on to create a series of ‘firsts’ for their industry, including an employee life insurance plan in 1912, a pension plan in 1913 and electronic check processing. By 1969 North Trust had expanded internationally with a London office, making them the first Illinois-chartered financial institution to open a branch outside the United States. Today, Northern Trust Corporation operates as the largest administrator of offshore private equity funds in Europe, and is one of the world’s leading providers of institutional index management services. Internationally, Northern Trust is one of the leaders when it comes to delivering to corporations, institutions and affluent individuals services such as investment management, asset and fund administration, fiduciary and banking solutions. To date, Northern Trust has $107 billion in banking assets, $6.1 trillion in assets under custody and $960 billion in assets under management.


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The Good

  • Specialties
  • Asset management
  • Asset servicing
  • Wealth management
  • Customized service
  • 24/7 online access


Northern Trust has three areas of specialty for its wealthy clients:

  • Asset Management
  • Asset Services
  • Wealth Management

Asset Management

Northern Trust's Asset Management helps clients to custom-design a sophisticated investment strategy to achieve their goals by:

  • proactive expert advice
  • a broad array of capabilities
  • latest technology

Northern Trust's two vehicles for goal achievement are:

  • Goals Driven Investing
  • Brokerage Services

Asset Servicing

For clients seeking a single hosted solution that provides straight-through-processing, cost-effective applications, added efficiency and productivity in a fully menu-driven environment, Northern Trust offers Asset Servicing through Trust Portal. These services include:

  • Banking and Treasury Management
  • Global Custody
  • Securities Lending
  • Correspondent Services

Northern Trust also offers a variety of wealth management services to help client's address every aspect of their wealth management needs.

Wealth Management

  • Private Banking
  • Business Banking
  • Investing
  • Trust and Estate
  • Wealth Planning
  • Family Office services

Customized Service

Northern Trust prides itself on centering its services around each client's individual needs. They provide clients with a customizable and expansive package of information reporting, image delivery and transaction initiation services. Northern Trust takes the time to fully understand their clients' business challenges and goals, helping them to develop integrated strategies and singular solutions, including:

  • Creative business credit solutions for debt financing and commercial lending
  • Cash management solutions to help accelerate receivables and manage payments
  • Deposit accounts designed to grow a client's business
  • International services to help clients move money globally

24/7 Online access

Another highlight is Northern Trust's  24/7 online platform -which offers individual and business clients a way to access their accounts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Advanced technologies allow each client to:
  • Customize reports based on combinations of individual accounts, product types or transaction types
  • View loan summary and transaction information in a simple, efficient interface
  • Provide a single initiation point for debit and/or credit transfers
  • Access daily positive pay exception information and instant on-line access to images of daily exception items
  • Stop payment requests on a real-time basis
  • View lockbox information reporting at the deposit, batch or float detail level and access of up to seven years of check and document images

The Bad

  • Limited customer base

Limited Customer Base

Northern Trust is a company that only services very high net-worth wealthy individuals and families. It is not a commercial bank that offers personal checking accounts, savings accounts and CDs. It only offers wealth and asset management.

The Bottom Line

For 125 years, Northern Trust has worked with wealthy clients to create customized solutions based on their unique set of circumstances. As global markets have grown more fast-paced and complex, North Trust has continued to establish new offices and develop new products and services to meet clients' changing needs. Northern Trust has transformed traditional online 24/7 banking into a broad online wealth management suite for all client accounts in one convenient place. The non-wealthy need not apply.
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7 Reviews

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Janice Stedman Courtland, VA

My parents entrusted their trust to Northern Trust Bank--overall it was less than ok-- we have had difficulties in correspondence! of course they do not want to give up the money. they charge you at every turn. they do not respond to our inquiries. and in the end they drag everything out so they can charge you more money. be very careful if you put them in charge.

6 years ago

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Anonymous Delray Beach, FL

As a current Beneficiary to an Estate that my parents entrusted too Northern Trust, I would like to warn individuals considering doing business with them to avoid doing so. The incompetence level at Northern Trust is extremely high. I will not go into detail about the missteps that have taken place, but they have caused great stress and anxiety for five family members for the past year and a half, and they are continuing to drag this process out. The fees that they have charged are astronomical. If you are considering Northern Trust as a financial resource for your financial future I would seriously consider looking elsewhere.

1 year ago

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Cindy Snavely Hollis, NH

This company took over managing my retirement account this past year. I was never notified about the change and found out when no monthly deposit was made to my account. After tracking them down, they changed the information with a lot of leg work on my part. Instead of combing my 3 account payments into 1 deposit, they have it broken into 3 payments. Last, they did not complete the State witholding tax bracket on my 1099R form. Without this, my accountant cannot file electronically and must do all the paperwork by hand. They would not send a revised form or provide me with their Utah withholding number. According to the State Tax commissioner, they MUST include this number. This is causing me hours and hours of time and frustration.

2 years ago

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Harvard Windemere North Palm Beach, FL

They have the most opaque business model of any professional services institution with which I have ever dealt. Our father entrusted NT with his estate, to act as trust administrator. They have made tons of mistakes, charged exorbitant fees, including 5 months on a row supposedly in error, and then had to reverse them after discovering them each month, all without apology. They will not provide any process or time line, it is difficult to to get an answer from them, they dragged on for 5 months before we saw one dime in a Partial distribution. The purpose of establishing a trust is typically twofold, to get money to beneficiaries quickly, and to avoid probate. However on the latter point, they put it through probate anyway delaying action for over 2 years. They don't return emails very promptly, we have had periods of time of over 2 weeks without a response to simple queries. Another reviewer says they take the most simple task and make it complex, we experienced that over and over again. They are simply horrible to deal with, and it appears that their business model is to slow jam the process so that they can continue to earn fees. My father would have been so upset because he wanted this to be an easy process for my siblings and I, however 2 of us have spent hundreds of hours trying to extract information and correct their mistakes - and to extract the money from them and get it into the beneficiaries' hands. I would stay far far away from these people, and instead recommend finding a good estate attorney and paying them on an hourly basis for Trust administration.

2 years ago

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John Crosier Palm Springs, CA

CRMINALS,LIARS,THIEVES, and USE OF UNETHICAL and ILLEGAL VENDORS. Charlie F. Mustachia of Northern Trust referred us to A David Paddock (Paddock CPA) to do our taxes and after using him we were immediately audited and after Paddock took even more money to represent us in the audit he did no such thing...ignoring all phone calls, faxes, and emails from the auditor so we are now dealing with him and our new CPA ourselves. To make matters worse Paddock took our money to do our 2018 tax returns and then refused to do them with out returning our funds. Whatever information you ever receive from Northern Trust and in particular Charlie F. Mustachia do not use. Run from Northern when and if you have the opportunity to!

4 years ago

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Ted Stromberg Houston, TX

Service tech helped restore my login to Private Passport, he was the most patient helpful person. The patients of a saint.

2 years ago

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Leonard and Judy Rothman Naples, FL

We are stuck using Northern Trust because of a family trust. Their fees are exorbitant! They under-perform when investing. Stay away from these crooks! Their only expertise is making simple transactions complex and costly! If you know anything about investing use Charles Schwab and you'll save your heirs at least tens of thousands yearly!

4 years ago