A Ruffer & Sons, a City of London accepting house, was established as a private company in 1872 by Baron Joseph Ruffer whose family had been merchants at Leipzig and Lyons specialising in the silk trade. In London it had a particular interest in finance for the Anglo-French and Belgian wool trade, but in September 1922 had to look to the Bank of England for a loan to clear its outstanding debt. By the time this was due it was clear that longer-term support was needed and A Ruffer & Sons, at that time a partnership, was incorporated as a limited company, the Bank of England taking £700,000 shares out of a total of just under £1 million in settlement of the firm's debt. The Bank of England's shares were held on account of Securities Trust Ltd in the names of certain directors of the firm.
The bank sustained losses in 1930 and 1931 arising from the credit collapse in Germany and Eastern Europe but, never heavily involved in the standstill countries, it managed to survive until the Second World War. Then, deteriorating conditions in France and Belgium and the call-up of some of the directors made winding-up inevitable.
In 1941 the company was liquidated voluntarily and the little banking business that remained was transferred to Glyn, Mills & Co, bankers of London, a major Securities Trust Ltd shareholder, in 1946. The company was finally dissolved in 1964.
Summary of our archive holdings
Our archive records of A Ruffer & Sons Ltd have the reference code RU.
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- securities ledger 1908-(1915)
Summary of archive holdings elsewhere
- Bank of England Archive: Discount office files re pre-moratorium acceptance advances to A Ruffer & Sons 1914-23 (Ref: C47/317); chief cashier’s office policy files re financial assistance given by Securities Trust Ltd to A Ruffer & Sons Ltd, incl auditor’s reports and balance sheets 1924-64 (Ref: C40/948-952); discount office files re support operations re A Ruffer & Sons Ltd, incl half-yearly reports 1914-64 (Ref: C48/124-127,340); agreement, A Ruffer & Sons re debt to Bank of England 1923 (Ref: C92/99)