Monday, 26 November 2007

Paper Money History: Scotish Bank founded to Support Scotish Trade

The Bank of Scotland, the first Scottish Bank is Born

In 1695 the Bank of Scotland was born, it was not connected to the State and was privately owned, but its role in producing Scottish paper money came a year after the bank was born. The Bank was owned by 172 private citizens, who were policticians, landowners and merchants with 120,000 Scottish pounds (approximately £10,000British Sterling). 36 of these shareholders lived in London: the bank is therefore the second oldest bank in Europe. It was established through an Act of the Scottish parliament, independent of the Scottish government and has remained so to date. The interest of the merchants and landowners was the paramount concern of this establishment. they needed a banking system where their credit, loans etc could be managed adequately.

!696 saw the bank issuing its first paper money currency for public circulation, this was in response to the poor state of affairs concerning Scottish coins. The bank has continued to issue paper money to date, though its right to do so has been challenged at various times through the ages. The facts of which I shall explore in the future.

Bank of Scotland coat of arms

For lovers of Scottish paper money its nice to know that the Bank of Scotland actually runs a museum where one can explore the different facets of the banks history through the ages.
Its called Museum on the Mound, and open six days a week, visit them at The Scottish Currency Museum. Contact details are as follows: Museum on the Mound,The Mound, Edinburgh, EH1 1YZ. Tel: 0131 243 5464, Fax: 0131 243 5440, E-mail:


Did you know that Scotland is one of the few countries that has more than one bank issuing the current paper money in circulation? In most countries there is one Central Bank that issues currency, but in Scotland there are three banks that provide this service, namely The Bank of Scotland, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and the Clydesdale Bank.

Did you also know that the Bank of Scotland owns 50 percent of Sainsbury's Bank and that Halifax Bank Plc. is actually part of the Bank of Scotland when they merged in 2001?

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