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Clydesdale Bank commemorates 175th anniversary

6th May 2013

Clydesdale Bank commemorates 175 years of trading on Tuesday 7 May.

The Bank is marking its anniversary with a series of initiatives which will see communities across Scotland benefiting from financial support. This includes the Bank’s newly launched Spirit of the Community Awards which will donate £175,000 to Scottish voluntary and charity groups.

Open to a range of charities and not-for-profit organisations which clearly demonstrate support for their community, the Awards were launched in February. More than 300 nominations have since been received and the Bank plans to announce the 24 successful Scottish entrants this summer.

The Bank has also committed to raising a total of £3 million for its charity partner Help the Hospices and their 99 local hospices by January 2014. Since Clydesdale Bank launched the partnership in February 2008 it has raised £2.6 million. Each pound raised by employees is matched by the Bank.

Clydesdale Bank began trading from Glasgow and Edinburgh on 7 May, 1838. The business was founded by stationer James Lumsden, who was also the Bank’s first chairman and later served as Glasgow’s Lord Provost.

Today Clydesdale Bank is one of three Scottish banks and just 10 commercial banks worldwide authorised to print and issue bank notes. Notes printed by Clydesdale Bank account for almost 40% of Scottish notes in circulation at any one time - equivalent to £1.6 billion.

As part of its anniversary commemorations, a new oral history archive is being created. The project, which is being run in conjunction with the University of Strathclyde, will capture important memories from employees and customers to form a permanent digital record. When complete, the archive will become an open resource for the city of Glasgow, where Clydesdale Bank has been headquartered since 1840.

David Thorburn, Chief Executive, said: “It is fitting that our 175th anniversary commemorations, including our oral history archive, our new Spirit of the Community Awards, and our commitment to raise £3 million for Help the Hospices will benefit Scotland in the years to come.”

Clydesdale Bank:

  • The Clydesdale Banking Company was founded by James Lumsden, who was its first chairman and also served as Glasgow’s Lord Provost from 1843-46. Original documentation showed that all directors were required to live within 10 miles of Glasgow.
  • The bank began trading on 7 May, 1838 at 94 Miller Street, Glasgow. During the first day of operations, 31 current accounts were opened and £14,000 in deposits was taken.
  • In June 1840, work was completed on the first Head Office of the Bank which was purpose built at 13 Queen Street in Glasgow. The new building was lit by gas and occupied from 1840.
  • By 1882 the bank had been renamed as the Clydesdale Bank Limited.
  • The Bank’s current Head Office in St. Vincent Place, Glasgow opened on 30 November 1874.

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