The Glasgow Bank Company was formed in 1809 - the last bank of the old private-partnership type to be formed in Glasgow. It was unusual in several respects. The original sixteen partners had been thrown together through accident of circumstance and marriage, in the Dundee New Bank (which had been twice re-constituted and had started out as the Dundee Commercial Banking Company). The second Dundee New Bank was so successful that the partners decided to repeat the experiment in Glasgow and as a result, most of the original partners were based outwith Glasgow. The wealth of the founders is reflected in the capital structure: the capital was £200,000 in forty shares of £5,000 apiece.
The principal (and managing) partner of the bank was James Dennistoun. A prominent Glasgow citizen, Dennistoun held a quarter of the shares. The post of cashier was entrusted to William B. Cabbell, who had begun as a bank clerk with the London firm of Ransom, Morland & Co., the partners of which were also involved in the Dundee and Glasgow ventures.
The bank's Head office in Glasgow was on the corner of Montrose Street and Ingram street and a branch was also established at Kirkcaldy, where one of the partners was based. In 1818, a further seven partners were invited to join the company, in order to strengthen local connections with the city of Glasgow. Competition for business in the city had become sharper, following the establishment of the Royal Bank of Scotland and British Linen Bank agencies.
In 1836, a committee of partners was formed to consider the desirability of a change in the bank's constitution to joint-stock form. This was postponed as a result of the merger with the Ship Bank which took place later in the same year, to form the Glasgow and Ship Bank. The Glasgow and Ship Bank became part of the Union Bank of Scotland in 1843.