Walter Ballantyne

Walter Robert Ballantyne (1905-1988) worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland from 1920 to 1965, including as its cashier and general manager, 1955-65.

Background, early life and education

Walter Robert Ballantyne was born in Edinburgh on 2 June 1905. He was educated at Heriot’s School in Edinburgh.

In the course of his career, he obtained degrees in law from Edinburgh University and London University.

Banking career

Walter Ballantyne began work as an apprentice at the Royal Bank of Scotland's Edinburgh Hunter Square branch in 1920, when he was 15. In 1928 he transferred to head office.

In 1943 he transferred to the bank’s office in London, where he remained until 1946, when he returned to Edinburgh. In April 1947 he was appointed assistant secretary of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

From 1950 to 1952 he returned once again to London, this time as deputy manager of London City Office. In 1952 he was appointed assistant general manager, based in the bank’s Edinburgh head office. The following year he became joint cashier and general manager, and from April 1955, he became sole cashier and general manager.

He was also a director of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s two English constituents Williams Deacon’s Bank and Glyn, Mills & Co.

He was a member of the Institute of Bankers in Scotland, and served as its president, 1957-8. He served as a representative of the Scottish banks on the Council of the British Bankers’ Association, and a member of the finance committee, executive committee and vice president of the Scottish Council (Development and Industry).

He retired from the bank on 30 June 1965.

Other directorships and business activities

Walter Ballantyne’s other directorships included:

  • Noble Grossart Ltd, 1970-80
  • Ailsa Investment Trust, 1970-81 (chairman)
  • Scottish Mutual Trust Assurance Society, 1971-8 (chairman)
  • Abbey National Building Society (Scottish Advisory Board)
  • Scottish Agricultural Securities Corporation Ltd
  • Alva Investment Trust Ltd
  • Cosmas Developments Ltd (Chairman)
  • Drumsheugh Baths Club Ltd
  • Sutherland Transport & Trading
  • Pulford (Scotland) Ltd

Other interests

Walter Ballantyne and his wife Lottie joined the Scottish Youth Hostel Association in the 1930s, and he remained an active supporter of the organisation for the rest of his life, including serving as its chairman from 1958 to 1975.

He was an active supporter of Boys’ Clubs, serving as a director of North Merchiston Boys’ Club. He was chairman of the Scottish Association of Boys’ Clubs, 1969-73.

He served as treasurer of various societies and charities, including:

  • Royal Scottish Geographical Society, 1965-77
  • Earl Haig Fund (Scotland)
  • Officers’ Association (Scotland)
  • Scottish Veterans’ Garden City Association

He was a Justice of the Peace for the county of the City of Edinburgh. He was awarded an OBE.

He enjoyed swimming and water polo, and was honorary president of Portobello Amateur Swimming Club. He also played golf and enjoyed hill walking.

Family life and death

Walter Ballantyne was married to Lottie Smith. They had one daughter together.

He died on 24 September 1988, at the age of 83.