Airdrie Savings Bank
|Industry||Finance and Insurance|
|Founder||Dr William Clark (first President)|
|Defunct||28 April 2017|
|Headquarters||Airdrie, Scotland, UK|
Airdrie Savings Bank was a small commercial bank operation in the Lanarkshire area of Scotland. It ran 3 branches throughout the area, with its head office in Airdrie at the time of the announcement of its closure. Total assets of the bank at 31 October 2013 were £158 million with a reported loss of £267,000. In January 2017, the bank announced it would begin closure proceedings on 28 April of that year.
Airdrie Savings Bank was the only remaining independent Savings Bank in the UK. It operated on mutual principles, had no shareholders and was instead governed by a Board of Trustees, appointed to represent the interests of depositors and to ensure that the bank was managed properly.
The first true savings bank was established by Rev. Henry Duncan in the Dumfriesshire village of Ruthwell in 1810. Duncan’s model was rapidly adopted across Scotland, the rest of the UK and continental Europe. In 1924 the world’s first International Thrift Congress was held in Milan and there were representatives there from 350 institutions around the world.
Airdrie Savings Bank was instituted in 1835 by the efforts of four “founding fathers” – Rev. John Carslaw (a local church minister and strong advocate of the temperance movement); Dr William Clark (a retired doctor and member of a wealthy old Airdrie family); Rev. Andrew Ferrier (another local minister); and James Knox (a local hat and cap manufacturer). The first Board of Directors included several weavers, a blacksmith, a schoolmaster, a stonemason, a tailor and a salesman. Indeed, the blacksmith was Vice-President of the bank for over twenty years.
The first account was opened on 21 January 1835 with a deposit of £2 10s and by the end of 1835 a total of £355 had been deposited (over £31,000 today). The first branch was opened in the Session House of a local church but the church closed in 1841 and the bank moved to the shop premises of a tailor where it remained for twenty years before relocating to a hat shop. Finally a purpose built independent office was established in the town in 1883. By 1885 the bank total deposits had risen to £20,000 (£2 million today) and within a decade this figure increased ten-fold to £200,000 (£20 million today). At the same time the number of customer more than quadrupled from 1100 to 4600. Deposits continued to double every decade such that by 1916 they had reached the £1 million mark (£87 million today).
During the First World War the bank continued to expand, opening new branches in Coatbridge (1916) and Bellshill (1917). In 1925 the head office in Airdrie relocated to new premises at the bottom of Wellwynd in the town where it remains today. Further expansion in the 1930s resulted in new branches in Shotts and Muirhead (both 1931) and Ballieston (1936). A second Coatbridge branch, Whifflet followed in 1969, Motherwell in 1997 and Falkirk in 2011.
In August 2010 it was announced that a new branch would be opened after a cash injection of £10 million, from a group of Scottish entrepreneurs who support the bank's mutual model. Sir Angus Grossart, Sir David Murray, Ann Gloag, Brian Souter, Sir Tom Farmer and Ewan Brown each provided £1 million. Soutar stated that "Airdrie Savings Bank represents what Scottish banks once stood for - security of funds, a focus on savings and outstanding personal service". He went on to say that: "We believe the mutual principle is fundamental to the integrity of the bank. We are doing this because so many Scots are dismayed at what has happened within the banking sector".
On 28 May 2015, the bank announced that the branches at Baillieston, Muirhead, Motherwell and Shotts would close on 28 August. The Falkirk branch closed in April 2016.
In January 2017, the Board of Trustees of Airdrie Savings Bank resolved that the bank should be wound up as a result of changing customer requirements and the increasing cost of regulation. The three remaining branches, including the head office, would close and customer deposits would be returned or transferred to other financial institutions. Mortgages and secured loans were be transferred to TSB Bank plc., and any outstanding deposits were to be transferred to Wesleyan Bank.
List of Presidents of Airdrie Savings Bank
|Dr William Clark, JP||1835 - 1837|
|Rev John Carslaw||1837 - 1840|
|Rev Andrew Ferrier||1840 - 1841|
|Rev John Carslaw||1841 - 1848|
|James Knox||1848 - 1861|
|Rev James McGown||1861 - 1866|
|Telford Martin||1866 - 1890|
|Thomas Jeffrey, JP||1890 - 1906|
|David Martyn, JP||1906 - 1918|
|William Neilson, JP||1919 - 1921|
|James Davidson, JP FRIBA||1921 - 1923|
|D. Rankine, JP||1923 - 1926|
|Thomas Armour, JP||1926 - 1928|
|Col. J. Maurice Arthur||1941-1944|
|Major W.A. Chapman||1944-1947|
|Lt Col. John Macfarlane||1953-1956|
|James R. Cunningham||1956-1959|
|John G. McGregor||1963-1966|
|Hugh K. Symington||1966-1968|
|Peter S. Murray||1968-1970|
|William A Nelson||1970-1972|
|Andrew M.S. Cleland||1972-1974|
|Andrew H.S. Marshall||1974-1976|
|John O. Ormerod||1976-1978|
|Graham T. Cargey||1978-1980|
|Wm Norman Law||1980-1982|
|Robert L. Paterson||1982-1984|
|Christopher J. Ormerod,CA||1986-1988|
|William M. Ross FFA||1988-1990|
|John C.A. Sword||1990-1992|
|Harold F. Hamilton||1992-1994|
|Alexander F. Bankier FRAgS||1994-1996|
|Gilbert K. Cox MBE, DL, JP||1996-1998|
|James C. Osborne BL||1998-2000|
|David J. McCallum||2000-2002|
|James Armstong JP||2002-2004|
|Alexander A. McArthur, Msc, CEng, MICE,FIHT||2004-2006|
|David H. Towers||2006-2008|
|Christopher J. Ormerod,CA||2008-2010|
|James Armstrong JP||2013|
|Christopher J. Ormerod, CA||2014-2017|
- Fraser, Douglas (18 January 2017). "Airdrie Savings Bank to close its doors". BBC News. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- Knox, James (1927). The Triumph of Thrift. Airdrie: Baird & Hamilton Ltd
- Campsie, Alison (28 August 2010) "Tycoons hand last independent bank £10 million". Glasgow: The Herald.
- "Airdrie Savings Bank to close four branches". BBC News. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
- Knox, James (1927). The Triumph of Thrift. Airdrie: Baird & Hamilton Ltd. pp. 101–102.