Anglo-International Bank Ltd

Anglo-International Bank Ltd (1926-1962), established in London, was part-owned by a past constituent of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Brief history

Anglo-International Bank Ltd was incorporated as a limited liability company in September 1926, with a capital of £2.36m, on the amalgamation of Anglo-Austrian Bank (est. 1863) and the British Trade Corporation (est. 1917). The Bank of England and Glyn, Mills & Co were the largest banking shareholders and Herbert Alexander Lawrence, chairman of Glyn, Mills & Co, was the bank's first chairman. Anglo-International Bank Ltd was formed to aid allied reconstruction proposals for Germany and the Austrian empire and to avoid the liquidation of Anglo-Austrian Bank and the collapse of the British Trade Corporation, both of which would have severely damaged Britain's banking reputation on the continent.

Anglo-International Bank Ltd continued Anglo-Austrian Bank's policy of disposing of foreign branches to local banks in exchange for shares, but replacing direct commitments to foreign firms with credits to foreign banks left it reliant on the fate of those foreign banks. This state of affairs was highlighted by the failure of Oestereichische Creditanstalt in May 1931 and the resulting fall in Anglo-International Bank Ltd’s profits. The Bank of England, already a provider of considerable aid to Anglo-International Bank Ltd, became concerned and in 1933 advised the bank to embark on a course of 'private orderly liquidation', a plan which was to be kept secret for fear of jeopardising its success.

The private liquidation showed steady results, but the annexation of Austria and the outbreak of war in Britain caused further problems. In 1940 Anglo-International Bank Ltd signed an agreement with British Overseas Bank Ltd, appointing it manager of Anglo-International Bank on an annual basis. Some improvements were made, but in 1944 the British Overseas Bank entered agreements on Anglo-International Bank’s behalf, which transferred the customer accounts (except frozen and doubtful accounts), the balances, securities, and the goodwill of the banking business to Glyn, Mills & Co and appointed Continental Assets Realisation Trust Ltd (est. 1939) sole director and manager of Anglo-International Bank Ltd.

Continental Assets Realisation Trust Ltd continued to manage Anglo-International Bank until the autumn of 1951, when Anglo-International Bank agreed to the purchase of its frozen assets by Continental Assets Realisation Trust Ltd and it was then put into voluntary liquidation. Anglo-International Bank Ltd was not finally wound up, however, until 1962 and a new company, Anglo-International Bank Ltd, was incorporated in 1963 solely to safeguard the name.

Summary of our archive holdings

All our records relating to this bank are closed until at least 2028.

Summary of archive holdings elsewhere

  • The Bank of England Archive: Chief cashier’s files re Anglo-Austrian Bank and its amalgamation with British Trade Corporation to form Anglo-International Bank Ltd 1926-1943 (Ref: C40/119-120, 122); chief cashier’s file re Securities Trust Ltd and Anglo-International Bank 1925-1962 (Ref: C40/937); discount office files re support of Anglo-International Bank Ltd, incl possible merger of the weaker merchant banks incl Anglo-International Bank 1931-1963 (Ref: C48/90-92, 143, 338); committee of treasury file re Anglo-International Bank 1926-1962 (Ref: G14/84); Sir Otto Niemeyer’s papers re Anglo-International Bank, incl interest in Credit-Anstalt 1928-1933 (Ref: OV9/26-27)