West Yorkshire Bank records

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Records of West Yorkshire Bank relating to its formation, operation and takeover by Lloyds Bank:

  • Foundation (1829-1911): deeds of settlement; documents relating to name changes; certificate of incorporation;
  • Operation (1829-1950): chairman’s minute books; main board minute books; letter book; various customer documentation, including steamship companies;
  • Amalgamation (1910-1935): amalgamation agreements, correspondence, details of special resolutions, papers relating to branch premises, papers relating to banknotes; appointment of liquidators;
  • General (1859-1923): share certificate, passbooks, press cuttings, memorandum re possible merger with London, City & Midland Bank.

Administrative / Biographical History

Foundation

The West Yorkshire Bank was founded as the Halifax Joint Stock Banking Company in 1829. It was one of the first such joint-stock companies to be set up in England and Wales.

Expansion

In the beginning, the board of directors were anxious not to overstretch the Bank’s resources, so expansion was slow. This, coupled with a prudent lending policy, meant that the business was able to survive a series of financial crises during the 1840s and '50s. However, from the 1870s onwards, the board judged that the time was right to expand - the company needed to keep pace with its regional rivals. The next 30 years saw 29 new branches open throughout West Yorkshire.

The business further expanded in 1911 when it took over its long-time rival, the Halifax & Huddersfield Union Banking Company. It was at this point that it changed its name to the West Yorkshire Bank.

Takeover

In the wake of the First World War, the West Yorkshire Bank struggled to compete with other major banks. When Lloyds put in an offer for the company, the Yorkshire bank’s Chairman wrote to its shareholders urging them to accept. He reasoned that the takeover was the only way to ensure that the business would not ‘snowball’ out of control. Fortunately the shareholders agreed, and the business was purchased by Lloyds in 1919.

Conditions Governing Access

Access is by appointment only, and at the discretion of the Archivist. An 'Application for Access' form must be completed by researchers prior to their visit. Please e-mail archives@lloydsbanking.com for further details and a copy of the form.

Other Finding Aids

Item level catalogue available - please e-mail archives@lloydsbanking.com for further details.

Geographical Names