Arbroath Banking Co

Arbroath Banking Co (1825-1844), established in Arbroath, Scotland, was a past constituent of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Brief history

This private bank was founded in April 1825 as a co-partnership by William Kid, merchant, and James Marnie, manufacturer, both former town provosts, to provide credit to local businessmen. The co-partnership, trading as Arbroath Banking Co, was to last for 42 years. The bank had 9 directors, and an authorised capital of £100,000, divided into 200 shares of £500 each, of which £40,000 was initially paid up. It attracted 113 shareholders, primarily local merchants, manufacturers and farmers, and appointed Glyn, Mills & Co as its London agent.

Despite competition from branches of other banks in the town, the bank prospered, as Arbroath was a busy port and centre for linen weaving and bleaching and there was a huge local demand for short-term credit. The bank issued its own notes and opened a branch in Forfar in 1825. During the mid 1830s it played a prominent role in financing the Arbroath & Forfar Railway. However, by 1844, when note circulation was £13,787 and deposits £137,279, the bank became illiquid, with large amounts of capital tied up in property. In 1844 it was acquired by Commercial Bank of Scotland, which paid £8,000 for the business, plus £2,500 for its properties in Arbroath and Forfar.

Summary of our archive holdings

Our archival records of Arbroath Banking Company have the reference code AR.

For help understanding words used here, check our glossary of banking record types (PDF 68 KB).

  • co-partnership contract 1825
  • banknote 1836
  • merger agreement 1844