|Industry||Finance and Insurance|
|Founded||1 May 1859|
|Parent||National Australia Bank Group|
Yorkshire Bank is a commercial bank in England and Wales, a division of Clydesdale Bank, which in turn is a subsidiary of National Australia Bank. It mostly operates in the North of England, especially in Yorkshire. In 2006 underlying profit rose 16.7 per cent to £454 million compared with a year earlier, while post-tax earnings climbed 12.8 per cent to £229 million. Total income was up 8.7 per cent at £1,193 million, while net interest income climbed 14.6 per cent to £769 million.
The bank was established on 1 May 1859 by Colonel Edward Akroyd of Halifax. Based in Leeds it was known as the West Riding Penny Savings Bank. It had originally been planned as a provident society but the status of savings bank was eventually chosen.
The bank was registered under the Friendly Societies Act and individual deposits were restricted to £30 per annum, up to a cumulative balance of £150. Within a year the bank had opened 24 branches, and a further 104 in the year after. Sub-branches were opened in schools and church halls.
The bank was operated on a non-profit making basis and in 1860 it was decided to extend operation to the other Ridings of Yorkshire. To recognise this the name was changed to the Yorkshire Penny Bank. In 1872 it issued cheque books for the first time, primarily for small tradesmen. At that time the bank became the first to create school banks, to encourage the idea of saving at an early age.
In 1911 depositors' balances were valued at £18 million although reserves were only £500,000 and that existing guarantees were not enough. The Bank of England organised a takeover by a consortium of banks (National Provincial Bank, Westminster Bank, Williams Deacon's Bank, Lloyds Bank, Barclays Bank, Glyn Mills) and the Yorkshire Penny Bank adopted limited liability. After this the bank was able to offer overdrafts for the first time.
In its centenary year of 1959 the bank's name changed to Yorkshire Bank Limited. During the 1970s the bank became one of the first to offer fee-free banking whilst in credit, a move that took bigger rivals a decade to follow. In 1982 it adopted public limited company status.
During the Miners' Strike of 1984-85 the bank offered miners who were mortgage holders a deferment, allowing them to postpone payments for the duration of the dispute. The strike took place in the bank's heartland and many miners were customers, having been encouraged by the National Coal Board to have their pay mandated to a bank account.
In 1990 the National Australia Bank Group acquired the bank from the consortium of owning banks which, after mergers and acquisitions, were the National Westminster Bank, (holders of 40%), Barclays Bank (32%), Lloyds Bank (20%), and Royal Bank of Scotland (8%). The price paid was £1 billion and the bank joined National Australia Bank's other European businesses, Clydesdale Bank (Scotland) and Northern Bank (which operated in both jurisdictions in Ireland).
In 2005 the National Australia Bank announced its intention to merge the Yorkshire Bank with the Clydesdale under one operating licence, in which the former would be a trading name of the latter. Both operate under separate identities although the Clydesdale brand is the one that has been used in further expansion into the south of England (Northern Bank was sold to Danske Bank of Denmark along with its operations in the Republic of Ireland, the National Irish Bank). At the same time 40 branches were closed, a reduction of a fifth of the Yorkshire Bank network. In 2012 National Australia Bank completed a strategic review of its UK businesses and decided to scale back operations, completely stopping Commercial Property Investment lending and closing 29 Financial Solutions Centres, with the resultant loss of 1400 jobs over 3 years.