Isle of Man Bank Ltd

Isle of Man Bank Ltd (1865-date) is part of NatWest Group.

Brief history

This joint stock bank was founded in 1865 as Isle of Man Banking Co, following the passage of a law through the Isle of Man legislature allowing the formation of limited liability companies. The company issued its own banknotes from the outset and, by 1895, had opened branch offices in Castletown, Ramsey, Peel, Port St Mary, Port Erin and Laxey.

Despite a local banking crisis induced by the dramatic failure of Dumbell's Banking Co in 1900, Isle of Man Banking Co survived and prospered. In 1900 a new branch office was opened in Regent Street, Douglas, and in 1902 a new head office built in Athol Street. In 1920 Isle of Man Banking Co was approached by National Provincial & Union Bank of England of London with a view to amalgamation. The approach was rebuffed, but Isle of Man Banking Co suffered during the inter-war depression. In 1926 the bank changed its name to Isle of Man Bank Ltd. By the mid-1930s, the Island economy was beginning to recover and a new branch was opened in Onchan. Further branches were opened in Victoria Street, Douglas, and Kirk Michael in 1953.

In 1961 Isle of Man Bank was finally acquired by National Provincial Bank, but continued to operate quite independently with a Manx board of directors. New departments were set up and additional branches opened at Ballasalla, Ronaldsway Airport, Ramsey Mart and Ballaugh. Also in 1961 the banknote licences of all commercial banks on the Island were revoked and Isle of Man Bank was subsequently appointed to manage the note issue of the Isle of Man government. By 1965 Isle of Man Bank had deposits of over £10 million and 143 staff.

In 1968 National Provincial Bank joined with Westminster Bank to form National Westminster Bank. From the late 1960s, the Isle of Man Government used financial incentives to attract business from the UK and the economic importance of the financial services sector in the Isle of Man increased. Isle of Man Bank flourished and by the 1980s began to enter the offshore market, alongside developing its local business and growing its shipping and insurance activities. Following the acquisition of National Westminster Bank by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group in 2000 (renamed NatWest Group in 2020), Isle of Man Bank continues to operate independently. 

Published histories

  • 60 years of Banking on Isle of Man (Isle of Man: 1925)
  • Isle of Man Bank Limited 1865-1965. 100 years of banking (Isle of Man: 1965)
  • V Cottle, Bank accounts: The Isle of Man Bank 1865-1990 (Isle of Man: privately published by Isle of Man Bank, 1990)
  • E Quarmby, Banknotes and Banking in the Isle of Man. A guide for historians and collectors, 2nd edition (London: Spinks, 1994)

Summary of our archive holdings

Our archival records of Isle of Man Bank have the reference code IOM.

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

Corporate records

  • share ledgers 1865-1910
  • general meetings minutes 1865-1935
  • memorandum and articles of association 1865, 1961
  • directors' meetings minutes 1865-1961
  • agenda books 1865-1961
  • share transfer register 1866-1968
  • annual reports 1894-1965
  • shareholder circulars 1904-27
  • merger papers, National Provincial Bank 1961-8

Financial records

  • general ledger 1865-8
  • abstract of balances 1865-1970
  • lists of bills due 1866-75
  • discount ledger 1875-89
  • stock ledgers 1882-1975
  • notes on profits c.1890
  • weekly cash book 1894-1917
  • annual reports 1894-1962
  • balance journals 1898-1913, 1941-70
  • statistics book 1917-42
  • balance sheets 1917-66
  • cash summary books 1950-60
  • comparative weekly figures 1950-60
  • file of statistics re deposits and advances 1956-8

Legal records

  • solicitor's opinion re proposed merger 1957
  • papers re National Westminster Bank (Isle of Man) Act 1969

Customer records

  • manager's private letterbooks 1900-(1915)
  • cheque book, 1914
  • cheque forms 1940s
  • cheque book covers n.d.

Staff records

  • staff registers 1863-(1915)
  • staff salary books 1865-(1915)
  • declarations of secrecy 1865-(1915)
  • presscuttings re appointments 1904
  • staff magazine 1913-21
  • papers re clerks killed in action 1918

Property records

  • branch fire insurance policy c.1890
  • photographs of head office 1890, 1902, c.1920, 1970
  • real estate ledger c.1911-66
  • branch photographs c.1920, 1960s
  • branch architectural plans 1923, 1949-75
  • branch building specifications 1950, 1936
  • branch opening hours notices n.d.

Note issue records

  • banknote registers 1894-1983
  • banknotes 1914-60 and specimen banknotes 1979
  • correspondence re government notes 1961-2
  • reverse note pull n.d.

Marketing records

  • presscuttings 1890-1911
  • presscuttings: re reduction in overdraft rate 1895, scrapbooks 1900-05
  • centenary scrapbook 1865

Branch records

  • selected records

Summary of archive holdings elsewhere

  • Manx National Library and Archives: Memorandum and articles of association 1865; rules of Isle of Man Banking Co 1865; cheque book 1880s-95; banking receipts 1898-1901; customer correspondence 1912; rules of widows and orphans fund 1971