Bank of England £50 note
The Bank of England £50 note is a banknote of the pound sterling. It is the highest denomination of banknote issued for public circulation by the Bank of England; the current cotton note, first issued in 2011, bears the image of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse and the images of engineer and scientist James Watt and industrialist and entrepreneur Matthew Boulton on the reverse. £50 notes were introduced by the Bank of England for the first time in 1725. The earliest notes were issued as needed to individuals; these notes were written on one side only and bore the name of the payee, the date, the signature of the issuing cashier. With the exception of the Restriction Period between 1797 and 1821, when the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars caused a bullion shortage, these notes could be exchanged in full, or in part, for an equivalent amount of gold when presented at the bank. If redeemed in part, the banknote would be signed to indicate the amount, redeemed. From 1853 printed notes replaced handwritten notes, with the declaration "I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of fifty pounds" replacing the name of the payee.
This declaration remains on Bank of England banknotes to this day. A printed signature of one of three cashiers appeared on the printed notes, although this was replaced by the signature of the Chief Cashier from 1870 onwards; the ability to redeem banknotes for gold ceased in 1931 when Britain stopped using the gold standard. The £50 note ceased to be produced by the Bank of England in 1943 and did not reappear until it was reintroduced in 1981; these D series notes were predominantly olive green on both sides, with an image of Queen Elizabeth II on the front and an image of architect Christopher Wren on the back. As a security feature, this note had a metallic thread running through it, upgraded to a "windowed" thread from July 1988 onward; the thread is woven into the paper such that it forms a dashed line, yet appears as a single line when held up to the light. The series D note was replaced by the series E, beginning in 1994; this reddish note replaced Christopher Wren with John Houblon, the first governor of the Bank of England, on the reverse.
As an additional security feature, these notes had a foil patch on the front. The E revision series didn't have a £50 note; the current £50 note was introduced in 2011. It features two portraits on the reverse: engineer and scientist James Watt and industrialist and entrepreneur Matthew Boulton, along with the Whitbread Engine and the Soho Manufactory, Birmingham; the note has a number of security features in addition to the metallic thread, including motion thread, raised print, a watermark, microlettering, a see-through register, a colourful pattern that only appears under ultraviolet light. The current note is the first Bank of England banknote to feature two people on the reverse, the first Bank of England note to feature the motion thread security feature; this is an image in a broken green thread. The Bank of England has issued new £5 and £10 notes in polymer form. In October 2018, the Bank of England announced that the £50 note would be retained, with a new Series G polymer note planned to replace the Series F note at some point after 2020.
The Bank of England has a committee to consider nominations for the face of the new notes via public consultation. Peter Sands, an advisor to the British Government and former Chief Executive of Standard Chartered, has raised concern with the Bank of England over high denomination notes and their role in tax evasion, he claimed that scrapping the £50, other high denomination notes such as the CHF 1000 and $100, would reduce financial crime. Information taken from Bank of England website. Bank of England note issues Bank of England website
The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift in central Scotland, connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. The lift is named after the town in which it is located, it reconnects the two canals for the first time since the 1930s. It opened in 2002 as part of the Millennium Link project; the plan to regenerate central Scotland's canals and reconnect Glasgow with Edinburgh was led by British Waterways with support and funding from seven local authorities, the Scottish Enterprise Network, the European Regional Development Fund, the Millennium Commission. Planners decided early on to create a dramatic 21st-century landmark structure to reconnect the canals, instead of recreating the historic lock flight; the wheel raises boats by 24 metres, but the Union Canal is still 11 metres higher than the aqueduct which meets the wheel. Boats must pass through a pair of locks between the top of the wheel and the Union Canal; the Falkirk Wheel is the only rotating boat lift of its kind in the world, one of two working boat lifts in the United Kingdom, the other being the Anderton Boat Lift.
The two canals served by the wheel were connected by a series of 11 locks. With a 35-metre difference in height, it required 3,500 tonnes of water per run and took most of a day to pass through the flight. By the 1930s these had fallen into disuse, the locks were dismantled in 1933; the Forth and Clyde Canal closed at the end of 1962, by the mid-1970s the Union Canal was filled in at both ends, rendered impassable by culverts in two places and run in pipes under a housing estate. The British Waterways Board came into existence on 1 January 1963, the day the Forth and Clyde Canal was closed, with the objective of finding a broad strategy for the future of canals in the United Kingdom. In 1976, the BWB decided after a meeting with local councils that the Forth and Clyde Canal, fragmented by various developments, was to have its remaining navigability preserved by building new bridges with sufficient headroom for boats and continuing to maintain the existing locks. Restoration of sea-to-sea navigation was deemed too expensive at the time, but there were to be no further restrictions on its use.
A 1979 survey report documented 69 obstructions to navigation, sought the opinions of twenty interested parties to present the Forth and Clyde Local Plan in 1980. The Lotteries Act 1993 resulted in the creation of the Millennium Commission to disseminate funds raised by the sale of lottery tickets for selected "good causes." In 1996, when sufficient funds had been accumulated, the Commission invited applications to "do anything they thought desirable... to support worthwhile causes which would mark the year 2000 and the start of the new millennium." The conditions were that the Commission would fund no more than half of the project, with the remaining balance being covered by project backers. The BWB had made an earlier plan for the reopening of the canal link, which comprehensively covered the necessary work. In 1994, the BWB announced its plan to bid for funding, submitted in 1995 on behalf of the Millennium Link Partnership; the plans called for the canals to be opened to their original operating dimensions, with 3 metres of headroom above the water.
The whole project had a budget of £78 million. On 14 February 1997, the Commission announced it would support the Link with £32 million of funding, 42% of the project cost; the Wheel and its associated basin was priced at £ more than a fifth of the total budget. Another £46 million had to be raised in the next two years before construction could commence, with contributions from BWB, seven local councils, Scottish Enterprise, private donations being augmented by £8.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund. The Morrison-Bachy Soletanche Joint Venture Team submitted their original design, which resembled a Ferris wheel with four gondolas, in 1999, it was agreed by all parties that the design was functional, but not the showpiece the BWB were looking for. After being asked to reconsider, a 20-strong team of architects and engineers was assembled by British Waterways. Under the leadership of Tony Kettle from architects RMJM, the initial concepts and images were created with the mechanical concepts proposed by the design team from Butterley and M G Bennetts.
This was an intense period of work with the final design concept completed in a three-week period during the summer of 1999. The final design was a cooperative effort between the British Waterways Board, engineering consultants Arup, Butterley Engineering and RMJM. Diagrams of gear systems, proposed in the first concepts were modelled by Kettle using his 8-year-old daughter's Lego. Drawings and artist impressions were shown to funders; the visitor centre was designed by Paul Stallan. Inspirations for the design include a double-headed Celtic axe, the propellor of a ship and the ribcage of a whale. Kettle described the Wheel as "a beautiful, organic flowing thing, like the spine of a fish," and the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland described it as "a form of contemporary sculpture."Models and renderings of the Falkirk Wheel were displayed in a 2012 exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Since 2007, the Falkirk Wheel has been featured on the obverse of the new series of £50 notes issued by the Bank of Scotland.
The series of notes commemorates Scottish engineering achievements with illustrations of bridges in Scotland such as the Glenfinnan Viaduct and the Forth Bridge. In March 1999 the Secretary of State for Scotland cut the first sod of turf to begin work at lock 31 on the Forth and Clyde Canal. Over 1000 people were employed in the construction of the wheel, which has been
Banknotes of Scotland
Banknotes of Scotland are the banknotes of the Pound Sterling that are issued by the Scottish banks and in circulation in Scotland. The issuing of banknotes by retail banks in Scotland is subject to the Bank Charter Act 1844, the Banknotes Act 1845, the Currency and Bank Notes Act 1928, the Coinage Act 1971. Three retail banks are allowed to print notes for circulation in Scotland: Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank. Scottish banknotes are unusual, first because they are issued by retail banks, not central banks, second, because they are technically not legal tender anywhere in the United Kingdom – not in Scotland; as such, they are classified as promissory notes, the law requires that the issuing banks hold a sum of Bank of England banknotes or gold equivalent to the total value of notes issued. The fact that the notes are not defined as legal tender means that they are not withdrawn from circulation in the same way as the Bank of England notes, which cease to be legal tender on a given date.
Instead the Scottish banks withdraw old notes from circulation as they are banked. Any notes still in circulation continue to be honoured by banks, but retailers may refuse to accept older notes. All Bank of Scotland notes bear a portrait of Sir Walter Scott on the front in commemoration of his 1826 Malachi Malagrowther campaign for Scottish banks to retain the right to issue their own notes; the Bank of Scotland's 2007 series of banknotes is known as the Bridges of Scotland series. These notes were introduced on 17 September 2007, show Scotland's most famous bridges on the reverse side. From 2016, the Bridges of Scotland series is being renewed with the issue of new polymer notes with designs that follow the same basic theme of "bridges"; the Tercentenary and 2007 series of notes are being withdrawn from circulation and replaced with the polymer series as these are issued, but older notes continue to be accepted at banks. In line with this, the Committee of Scottish Bankers encouraged the public to spend or exchange non-polymer five and ten pound notes before 1 March 2018.
Following the announcement that HBOS would be taken over by Lloyds TSB in September 2008, it was confirmed that the new banking company would continue to print bank notes under the Bank of Scotland name. According to the Bank Notes Act 1845, the bank could have lost its note-issuing rights, but by retaining headquarters within Scotland, banknote issue continued; as of August 2017, the Royal Bank of Scotland is in the process of adopting a new series of banknotes. These will be made of polymer. Two have been released, whilst a new £20 note is being designed; the £5 note shows Nan Shepherd on the obverse accompanied by a quote from her book'The Living Mountain', the Cairngorms in the background. The reverse displays two mackerel, with an excerpt from the poem ‘The Choice’ by Sorley MacLean; the obverse of the £10 note shows Mary Somerville, with a quote from her work'The Connection of the Physical Sciences', Burntisland beach in the background. The reverse displays an excerpt from the poem ` Moorings' by Norman MacCaig.
The obverse of the £20 note, to be introduced in 2020, will show Catherine Cranston. The design process of the notes was touted as a "collaboration with the people of Scotland", with a total of 1,178 Scots being included. Nile HQ, a Strategic Design Company led De La Rue printed the notes; each note contributes to an overall theme ‘Fabric of Nature’. Given the national significance of the notes, Nile HQ invited some Scottish designers and calligraphers to develop the creative concept for the new notes; the previous series of Royal Bank of Scotland notes issued in 1987, remains in circulation, although it is now in the process of being replaced by polymer notes: the Committee of Scottish Bankers encouraged the public to spend or exchange non-polymer five and ten pound notes before 1 March 2018.. On the front of each note is a picture of Lord Ilay, the first governor of the bank, based on a portrait painted in 1744 by the Edinburgh artist Allan Ramsay; the front of the notes features an engraving of the bank's former headquarters in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh.
The background graphic on both sides of the notes is a radial star design, based on the ornate ceiling of the banking hall in the old headquarters building. On the back of the notes are images of Scottish castles, with a different castle for each denomination; the Royal Bank of Scotland issues commemorative banknotes. Examples are the £1 note issued to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Alexander Graham Bell in 1997, the £20 note for the 100th birthday of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 2000, the £5 note honouring veteran golfer Jack Nicklaus in his last competitive Open Championship at St Andrews in 2005, the £10 note commemorating HM Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee in 2012; these notes are much sought after by collectors, they remain long in circulation. Clydesdale Bank has three series of banknotes in circulation at present; the most recent set of notes, the Polymer series, came into circulation in March 2015, when the Clydesdale Bank became the first bank in Great Britain to issue polymer banknotes.
The £5 commemorative notes, issued to mark the 125th anniversary of the construction of the Forth Bridge, contain several new security features including a reflective graphic printed over a transparent "window" in the banknote. Further notes in the polymer series will be introduced over time, replacing the previous paper notes: the public are being encouraged to spend or exchange non-polymer five and ten
A banknote is a type of negotiable promissory note, made by a bank, payable to the bearer on demand. Banknotes were issued by commercial banks, which were required to redeem the notes for legal tender when presented to the chief cashier of the originating bank; these commercial banknotes only traded at face value in the market served by the issuing bank. Commercial banknotes have been replaced by national banknotes issued by central banks. National banknotes are legal tender, meaning that medium of payment is allowed by law or recognized by a legal system to be valid for meeting a financial obligation. Banks sought to ensure that they could always pay customers in coins when they presented banknotes for payment; this practice of "backing" notes with something of substance is the basis for the history of central banks backing their currencies in gold or silver. Today, most national currencies have no backing in precious metals or commodities and have value only by fiat. With the exception of non-circulating high-value or precious metal issues, coins are used for lower valued monetary units, while banknotes are used for higher values.
In China during the Han dynasty promissory notes were made of leather. Rome may have used a durable lightweight substance as promissory notes in 57 AD which have been found in London. However, Carthage was purported to have issued bank notes on parchment or leather before 146 BC. Hence Carthage may be the oldest user of lightweight promissory notes; the first known banknote was first developed in China during the Tang and Song dynasties, starting in the 7th century. Its roots were in merchant receipts of deposit during the Tang dynasty, as merchants and wholesalers desired to avoid the heavy bulk of copper coinage in large commercial transactions. During the Yuan dynasty, banknotes were adopted by the Mongol Empire. In Europe, the concept of banknotes was first introduced during the 13th century by travelers such as Marco Polo, with European banknotes appearing in 1661 in Sweden. Counterfeiting, the forgery of banknotes, is an inherent challenge in issuing currency, it is countered by anticounterfeiting measures in the printing of banknotes.
Fighting the counterfeiting of banknotes and cheques has been a principal driver of security printing methods development in recent centuries. Paper currency first developed in Tang dynasty China during the 7th century, although true paper money did not appear until the 11th century, during the Song dynasty; the usage of paper currency spread throughout the Mongol Empire or Yuan dynasty China. European explorers like Marco Polo introduced the concept in Europe during the 13th century. Napoleon issued paper banknotes in the early 1800s. Cash paper money originated as receipts for value held on account "value received", should not be conflated with promissory "sight bills" which were issued with a promise to convert at a date; the perception of banknotes as money has evolved over time. Money was based on precious metals. Banknotes were seen by some as an I. O. U. or promissory note: a promise to pay someone in precious metal on presentation, but were accepted - for convenience and security - in the City of London for example from the late 1600s onwards.
With the removal of precious metals from the monetary system, banknotes evolved into pure fiat money. Development of the banknote began in the Tang dynasty during the 7th century, with local issues of paper currency, although true paper money did not appear until the 11th century, during the Song dynasty, its roots were in merchant receipts of deposit during the Tang Dynasty, as merchants and wholesalers desired to avoid the heavy bulk of copper coinage in large commercial transactions. Before the use of paper, the Chinese used coins that were circular, with a rectangular hole in the middle. Several coins could be strung together on a rope. Merchants in China, if they became rich enough, found that their strings of coins were too heavy to carry around easily. To solve this problem, coins were left with a trustworthy person, the merchant was given a slip of paper recording how much money they had with that person. If they showed the paper to that person, they could regain their money; the Song Dynasty paper money called "jiaozi" originated from these promissory notes.
By 960 the Song dynasty, short of copper for striking coins, issued the first circulating notes. A note is a promise to redeem for some other object of value specie; the issue of credit notes is for a limited duration, at some discount to the promised amount later. The jiaozi did not replace coins during the Song Dynasty; the central government soon observed the economic advantages of printing paper money, issuing a monopoly right of several of the deposit shops to the issuance of these certificates of deposit. By the early 12th century, the amount of banknotes issued in a single year amounted to an annual rate of 26 million strings of cash coins. By the 1120s the central government stepped in and produced their own state-issued paper money. Before this point, the Song government was amassing large amounts of paper tribute, it was recorded that each year before 1101 AD, the prefecture of Xin'an alone would send 1,500,000 sheets of paper in seven different varieties to the capital at Kaifeng. In that year of 1101, the Emperor Huizong of Song decided to lessen the amount of paper taken in the tribute quota, because it was causing detrimental effects and creating heavy burdens on the people of the regio
Bank of England note issues
The Bank of England, now the central bank of the United Kingdom, has issued banknotes since 1694. In 1921 The Bank of England gained a legal monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales, a process that started with the Bank Charter Act of 1844 when the ability of other banks to issue notes was restricted. Banknotes were hand-written. Notes were printed from 1855. Since 1970, the Bank of England's notes have featured portraits of British historical figures. Of the eight banks authorised to issue banknotes in the UK, only the Bank of England can issue banknotes in England and Wales, where its notes are legal tender. Bank of England notes are not legal tender in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but are accepted there along with the respective countries' national banknotes. There are four different denominations of notes – £5, £10, £20 and £50; each value has its own distinct colour scheme and the size of each note increases in length and width as the value increases. These images are to scale at 0.7 pixel per millimetre.
For table standards, see the banknote specification table. Source: Bank of England website All current Bank of England banknotes are printed by contract with De La Rue at Debden, Essex, they include the printed signature of the Chief Cashier of the Bank of England and depict Elizabeth II in full view, facing left. On the left hand side of the £20 and £50 notes there is a hidden watermark, featuring the Queen facing right; the £5 and £10 polymer notes do not contain a watermark. More recent issues include the EURion constellation; this is a pattern of yellow circles. They are identified by photocopiers. Elizabeth II has appeared on all the notes issued since Series C in 1960; the custom of depicting historical figures on the reverse began in 1970 with Series D, designed by the bank's first permanent artist, Harry Eccleston. In 2015, the Bank of England launched a public competition to nominate historic personalities with links to the visual arts for a future redesign of the £20 banknote; the Governor of the Bank of England asked the public to "think beyond the obvious" when nominating suggestions, with over 29,700 nominations made.
In September 2015 the Bank of England announced that the next £20 note will be printed on polymer, rather than cotton paper. This was followed by an announcement in April 2016 that Adam Smith will be replaced by artist J. M. W. Turner on the next £20 note which will enter circulation in 2020. Images on the reverse of the new note will include a 1799 self-portrait of Turner, a representation of his painting The Fighting Temeraire, the quotation "Light is therefore colour" from an 1818 lecture by him, a copy of Turner's signature as made on his will. On 13 October 2018, the Bank of England announced that the next £50 note will be printed on polymer, rather than cotton paper. Members of the public have been invited to nominate a scientist to feature on it; the Bank of England has not always had a monopoly of note issue in Wales. Until the middle of the 19th century, private banks in Great Britain and Ireland were free to issue their own banknotes, notes issued by provincial banking companies were in circulation.
Over the years, various Acts of Parliament were introduced by the Parliament of the United Kingdom to increase confidence in banknotes in circulation by limiting the rights of banks to issue notes. The Bank of England gained a monopoly of note issue in England and Wales. Attempts to restrict banknote issue by banks other than the Bank of England began in 1708 and 1709, when Acts of Parliament were passed which prohibited banking companies of more than six partners or shareholders. Notes under 1 guinea & 5 guineas were prohibited in the 1770s and thereafter all the provincial banks were established by the more substantial merchants, landed gentry etc of a town and district. Gold shortages in the 18th century, caused by the Seven Years' War and war with Revolutionary France, began to affect the supply of gold bullion reserves, giving rise to the "Restriction Period"; the result was that the Bank was unable to pay out gold for its notes, at the same time began to issue lower denominations £1 and £2 notes in place of gold guineas, that were hoarded as so was the case in time of war.
Confidence in the value of banknotes was affected, except during 1809–11 and 1814–15 under the extreme conditions of war. The Country Bankers’ Act 1826 allowed some joint-stock banks outside London to issue notes, allowed the Bank of England to open branches in major provincial cities, enabling better distribution of its notes. With the passing of the Bank Notes Act 1833, Bank of England notes over £5 in value were first given the status of "legal tender" in England and Wales guaranteeing the worth of the Bank's notes and ensuring public confidence in the notes in times of crisis or war; the Currency and Bank Notes Act 1954 extended the definition of legal tender to ten shilling and £1 notes. The Bank of England ten-shilling note was withdrawn in 1969 and the £1 was removed from circulation in 1988, leaving a legal curiosity in Scots law whereby there is now no paper legal tender in Scotland; the Bank Charter Act 1844 began the process which gave the Bank of England exclusive note-issuing powers.
Under the Act, no new banks could start issuing notes, note-issuing banks in England and Wales were barred from expanding their no
Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Banca Rìoghail na h-Alba, Scots: Ryal Bank o Scotland abbreviated as RBS, is one of the retail banking subsidiaries of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, together with NatWest and Ulster Bank. The Royal Bank of Scotland has around 700 branches in Scotland, though there are branches in many larger towns and cities throughout England and Wales. Both the bank and its parent, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, are separate from the fellow Edinburgh-based bank, the Bank of Scotland, which pre-dates The Royal Bank of Scotland by 32 years; the Royal Bank of Scotland was established in 1724 to provide a bank with strong Hanoverian and Whig ties. Following ring-fencing of the Group's core domestic business, the bank is expected to become a direct subsidiary of NatWest Holdings by 2019. NatWest Markets comprises the Group's investment banking arm. To give it legal form, the former RBS entity was renamed NatWest Markets in 2018. Drummond and Child & Co. businesses in England.
The bank traces its origin to the Society of the Subscribed Equivalent Debt, set up by investors in the failed Company of Scotland to protect the compensation they received as part of the arrangements of the 1707 Acts of Union. The "Equivalent Society" became the "Equivalent Company" in 1724, the new company wished to move into banking; the British government received the request favourably as the "Old Bank", the Bank of Scotland, was suspected of having Jacobite sympathies. Accordingly, the "New Bank" was chartered in 1727 as the Royal Bank of Scotland, with Archibald Campbell, Lord Ilay, appointed its first governor. On 31 May 1728, the Royal Bank of Scotland invented the overdraft, considered an innovation in modern banking, it allowed a merchant in the High Street of Edinburgh, access to £ 1,000 credit. Competition between the Old and New Banks was centred on the issue of banknotes; the policy of the Royal Bank was to either drive the Bank of Scotland out of business, or take it over on favourable terms.
The Royal Bank built up large holdings of the Bank of Scotland's notes, which it acquired in exchange for its own notes suddenly presented to the Bank of Scotland for payment. To pay these notes, the Bank of Scotland was forced to call in its loans and, in March 1728, to suspend payments; the suspension relieved the immediate pressure on the Bank of Scotland at the cost of substantial damage to its reputation, gave the Royal Bank a clear space to expand its own business—although the Royal Bank's increased note issue made it more vulnerable to the same tactics. Despite talk of a merger with the Bank of Scotland, the Royal Bank did not possess the wherewithal to complete the deal. By September 1728, the Bank of Scotland was able to start redeeming its notes again, with interest, in March 1729, it resumed lending. To prevent similar attacks in the future, the Bank of Scotland put an "option clause" on its notes, giving it the right to make the notes interest-bearing while delaying payment for six months.
Both banks decided that the policy they had followed was mutually self-destructive and a truce was arranged, but it still took until 1751 before the two banks agreed to accept each other's notes. The bank opened its first branch office outside Edinburgh in 1783 when it opened one in Glasgow, in part of a draper's shop in the High Street. Further branches were opened in Dundee, Dalkeith, Port Glasgow, Leith in the first part of the nineteenth century. In 1821, the bank moved from its original head office in Edinburgh's Old Town to Dundas House, on St. Andrew Square in the New Town; the building as seen along George Street forms the eastern end of the central vista in New Town. It was designed for Sir Lawrence Dundas by Sir William Chambers as a Palladian mansion, completed in 1774. An axial banking hall behind the building, designed by John Dick Peddie, was added in 1857; the banking hall continues in use as a branch of the bank, Dundas House remains the registered head office of the bank to this day.
The rest of the nineteenth century saw the bank pursue mergers with other Scottish banks, chiefly as a response to failing institutions. The assets and liabilities of the Western Bank were acquired following its collapse in 1857. By 1910, the Royal Bank of Scotland had around 900 staff. In 1969, the bank merged with the National Commercial Bank of Scotland to become the largest clearing bank in Scotland; the expansion of the British Empire in the latter half of the nineteenth century saw the emergence of London as the largest financial centre in the world, attracting Scottish banks to expand southward into England. The first London branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland opened in 1874. However, English banks moved to prevent further expansion by Scottish banks into England. An agreement was reached, under which English banks would not open branches in Scotland and Scottish banks would not open branches in England outside London; this agreement remained in place until the 1960s, although various cross-border acquisitions were permitted.
The Royal Bank's English expansion plans were resurrected after World War I, when it acquired various small English banks, includin
British Linen Bank
The British Linen Bank was a commercial bank based in the United Kingdom. It was acquired by the Bank of Scotland in 1969 and served as the establishment's merchant bank arm from 1977 until 1999; the Edinburgh-based British Linen was "the only British bank to be formed on the basis of an industrial charter" and, as the name suggests, its roots lay in the Scottish linen industry. The original driving force behind the formation of the British Linen Company was Andrew Fletcher, Lord Milton, he was a lawyer landowner, had been active in the promotion of The Royal Bank of Scotland and, according to Checkland, "from 1735 to 1766 he was the most important man in the politics of Scotland." He had helped establish the Board of Trustees for Fisheries and Manufactures in Scotland and was the chairman of the board's Linen Committee. In 1727 he had been instrumental in the formation of the Edinburgh Linen Co-Partnery and in the early 1740s Milton wanted to expand it, make it national and capable of marketing in England.
The men who were to see this concept to fruition were "two young and enterprising Edinburgh linen manufacturers", Ebenezer McCulloch and William Tod. They became the managers of the new enterprise, Milton himself becoming deputy manager, their scheme was for "a company on a much bigger scale than hitherto seen in Scotland" and at the height of its operations in the 1750s "it was not just the largest single firm in the Scottish linen industry but in the Scottish economy as a whole". It handled every stage in the manufacture of linen cloth and employed thousands of spinners and weavers. In 1745 a prospectus was duly issued for "The Company for Improving the Linen Manufactury in Scotland". However, the lack of limited liability proved an obstacle to fundraising, the alternative route of a Royal Charter was sought. Progress of the petition was slow due to the Jacobite rebellion and it made no mention of Scotland: "the Scots were looked on with open suspicion as open supporters of the exiled House of Stewart."
The Charter was granted in 1746 in the name of the British Linen Company. In what appeared incidental at the time, the charter included the right to bank unless this was prohibited. McCulloch and Tod were keen from the outset to provide banking services to their trading partners: "they had set their minds on having, `like banks`, promissory notes to pay to agents, weavers and other customers". However, "three years the Company issued true bank notes, payable on demand, non-interest bearing."Despite the increasing provision of banking services, the Company remained an industrial concern through the 1750s but with limited financial success. There were arguments between the founders over withdrawing from manufacture to just financing and marketing other producers. In the 1760s British Linen "began to make the transition from manufacturing to finance, reduced its commitment to the linen industry." McCulloch resigned in 1763 and agreed to take over all the Company's manufacturing leaving British Linen to confine itself to financing.
However, new management discovered that the financial position was worse than expected and the subsequent failure of McCulloch's business meant British Linen got some of its old manufacturing back again. The transition from linen to banking was not complete until the mid 1770s", it was not just the difficulty in withdrawing from the linen industry that made the transition drawn out – there remained uncertainty over the legality of their banking. In 1759 the Company refused a loan to a linen manufacturer because it was "not consistent with the rules". In 1762 the Company took counsel's opinion on the legality of banking and it was only on receiving reassurance that it agreed to open deposit accounts for "friends". A formal "Plan of Trade" was prepared in 1764 to develop banking business but then the directors were clear that they were not trying to rival the Royal Bank or Bank of Scotland and it was not until 1767 that the first credits were given to non-linen people. For years there remained a fear that legitimacy of the Company's banking activities could be challenged by other banks and there were repeated attempts to obtain a new charter.
Despite objections from the Royal and Bank of Scotland, the Company succeeded in 1813 but it was still refused permission to call itself British Linen Bank – a status not achieved until 1906. As British Linen began to develop its banking business, it found it had a ready-made structure in the form of the old linen agencies and these were used to varying degrees. Around 1760 some of the Company's agents "were direct to circulate the Company's notes and to'open accounts with such friends as could be depended on'" Branches opened after 1760 were designed to carry out banking transactions. However, it was not until 1785 that "the time had come for the Company to set up a permanent branch system, with agents related to the Company by proper agreements."The unsystematic progression from linen agency to bank branch makes it difficult to be certain about the number of branches the Company had in the late eighteenth century. Malcolm's list of branch openings suggests that there were 18 bank branches by 1800 and a further 25 added in the first half of the nineteenth century.
The pace of activity accelerated in the second half of the century with over 70 branch openings. The one thing that British Linen did not do was to acquire other banks; the one exception was in 1837. By 1901, British Linen's branch network was given