Central Bank of Scotland

Scope and Content

Collection includes:

Founding Documents, 1834-1868: contracts of co-partnery and associated papers.

Shareholder Records, 1834-1880: stock journals; ledgers and transfer books; dividend books; registers of members.

Minutes, 1833-1880: minutes of directors' and proprietors' meetings.

Accounting Records, 1834-1868: general ledgers; annual and monthly balance books; balance, credit and overdrawn deposits; deposit books; balance books; miscellaneous accounting records.

Staff Records, 1834-1868: signature book; staff bonds of security and fidelity; instructions for agent and accountant at Crieff branch.

Banknote Records, 1834-1954: banknotes; registers of banknotes issued and burned; records of banknotes in circulation.

Branch Records, 1834-1868: ledgers and some letter books for branches at Auchterarder, Coupar Angus, Crieff, Dunkeld, Killin and Pitlochry.

Records Relating to the Amalgamation with Bank of Scotland, 1849-1880: papers, statement, ledger, report and list of partners.

Miscellaneous Records, 1834-1877.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Central Bank of Scotland was formed in Perth, in 1834, as a joint-stock company. It was the sixth of this type in Scotland since 1810, and the first of its kind in Perth. Never a very large bank, it initially operated with a working capital of just £79,125.

Initially the Bank's promoters were very optimistic of its success: "The County of Perth...the Yorkshire of Scotland... must be allowed to be one of the most important counties in the kingdom and to present a most advantageous field for the business of banking." However, the Bank faced substantial competition from others operating in the town. Bank of Scotland and the British Linen Bank had branches there and there were also two local banks: the Perth Banking Company and the Perth Union Banking Company.

By 1864, the Central Bank was financially crippled. It had debts amounting to over £50,000 and several large loans, chiefly to railway contractors, were in trouble. Bank of Scotland, which had been helping the ailing company for several years, assumed control of seven of the Central Bank's nine branches.

In 1868, Bank of Scotland acquired the remaining business of the Central Bank, including its magnificent head office building at 50 St John Street, which had been designed by the eminent architect, David Rhind.

A minority of Central Bank shareholders however were unwilling to sell their shares to the Bank of Scotland. They formed a committee which continued to meet for 12 years. During this period they reduced the Central Bank's debts to £25,591. In 1880, the committee members held a meeting with Bank of Scotland. The latter generously awarded them the sum of £5,375 - £2 : 3s per share.

The Central Bank was a good purchase for the Bank of Scotland. It ensured them a secure footing among the Perthshire farmers and landowners.


The collection is arranged into the following sections:

  • CBS/1: Founding Documents
  • CBS/2: Shareholder Records
  • CBS/3: Minutes
  • CBS/4: Accounting Records
  • CBS/5: Staff Records
  • CBS/6: Banknote Records
  • CBS/7: Branch Records
  • CBS/8: Records Relating to the Amalgamation with Bank of Scotland
  • CBS/9: Miscellaneous Records

Access Information

Access is by appointment only, and at the discretion of the Archivist. Closure periods apply to some records less than 100 years old. Please e-mail archives@lloydsbanking.com for further information.

Other Finding Aids

An item level catalogue is available - please e-mail archives@lloydsbanking.com for further details.

Please note that this catalogue replaces the NRAS survey of the Central Bank of Scotland records undertaken in the 1970s (NRAS945).

Conditions Governing Use

Copying of material is permitted at the discretion of Lloyds Banking Group Archives.

Related Material

  • NRAS945/20/2/4 - miscellaneous states and reports on Scottish banks, including a prospectus for the Central Banking Company, Perth.
  • GB1830 BOS/1/6/1/9 - Treasurer's Private Reports and Statements 1866-1893: includes report on amalgamation with the Central Bank.
  • Records at Perth & Kinross Council Archives (B59/37/14/10-13, 19): prospectus, 1833; contract of co-partnership, 1834; circular, 1834; cash credit account bond, 1838; article of roup re: shares, 1855.
  • Balance sheets, 1865-68, at Glasgow University Archive Services.


  • Alan Cameron, Bank of Scotland 1695-1995: A Very Singular Institution (Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh, 1995)
  • Richard Saville, Bank of Scotland A History 1695-1995 (Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 1996)
  • Charles A. Malcolm, The Bank of Scotland 1695-1945 (R. & R. Clark Ltd, Edinburgh, [1945])
  • S. G. Checkland, Scottish Banking, A History 1695-1973 (Glasgow, 1975)


Geographical Names