Perth United Banking Company

Scope and Content

Collection includes:

General Ledgers, 1766-1790

Miscellaneous Accounting Records, 1766-1790

Administrative / Biographical History

In the early 1760s, six small banking companies were formed in Perth. The first, the Perth Banking Company, was established in 1763, followed by five more the following year: the Tannerie Banking Company; Wedderspoon & Co.; McKeith Rintoul & Co.; the Craigie Banking Company; and John Bruce.

Each bank set up its own office and issued its own banknotes. These featured various motifs: the King's head, a sheaf of grain, a thistle and crown and an oak tree. With the exception of the Perth Banking Company however, the notes were for trivial sums and also contained the 'option clause' - which meant that instead of paying notes 'on demand', the banks could opt to defer payment for up to six months.

The prevalence of 'small notes' in Scotland (sometimes for as little as one shilling), was a source of serious concern in the mid-18th century. They were frequently issued by persons or bodies with only slender resources, and questionable grounds for calling themselves bankers. The pernicious practice of using the option clause compounded the problem by stoking inflation.

These issues were largely resolved by the 1765 'Act to prevent the inconveniences arising from the present method of issuing notes and bills by banks, banking companies and bankers, in that part of Great Britain called Scotland'. It outlawed the option clause and the issue of notes smaller than £1.

A direct consequence of the Act in Perth was that the small banks joined forces, merging together to form the Perth United Banking Company. This began business on 6th May 1766, with a working capital of £8,000. Banknotes were issued in denominations of £5 and £1, and correspondents were established in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Montrose. The Company also employed agents at Stirling, Dunkeld, Dunfermline, Auchtermuchty and Crieff.

Although continuously profitable, the bank went into voluntary liquidation after 21 years. This was in compliance with its partnership agreement, and the custom of the time. The Perth Banking Company, successor to the Perth United Banking Company, was responsible for the retirement of its notes.


The collection is arranged into the following series:

  • PEU/1: General Ledgers
  • PEU/2: Miscellaneous Accounting 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 for further information.

Other Finding Aids

Item level catalogue available - please email for further details.

Please note that this catalogue replaces and expands upon the NRAS survey of Perth United Banking Company records undertaken in the 1970s (NRAS1110).

Conditions Governing Use

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


No further accruals expected.

Related Material

Records relating to the Perth United Banking Company may be found in the collection of its successor, the Perth Banking Company (GB1830 PER).


  • Charles A. Munn, The Scottish Provincial Banking Companies 1747-1864 (Edinburgh, 1981)
  • Robert Rait, The History of the Union Bank of Scotland (Glasgow, 1930)


Geographical Names