Annan Savings Bank

Annan Savings Bank (1835-1985), established in Annan, Scotland, was a past constituent of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Brief history

This savings bank was established in 1835 under the provisions of the 1819 ‘Act for the protection of banks for savings in Scotland’. It was open for one hour a week on Thursdays (Fridays from 1871), operating from a room in shop premises in Annan. Its first governor was Provost Senhouse Nelson; its first treasurer, James Saunders; and its first secretary, James Simpson. The funds of the savings bank were controlled by a court of directors, consisting of six trustees and the treasurer. There was also a standing committee (replaced by an audit committee in 1889), which had 23 members including the trustees, treasurer and secretary and which had powers to reverse the decisions of the court of directors. The trustees, treasurer and standing committee were chosen at the annual general meeting of depositors. Customers could deposit sums of between one shilling and £10 each year and by 1836 the savings bank had 80 accounts and deposits of £310.

In 1875 it acquired the business of Ruthwell Savings Bank, which had been established in 1810 as the world's first savings bank. By 1885 Annan Savings Bank had deposits of £90,113. In 1891 it moved to premises at 50 High Street. It moved again in 1919 to 28/30 High Street, where it remained until the 1980s.

From the outset Annan Savings Bank had a close relationship with the Annan branch of Commercial Bank of Scotland. Its first secretary, James Simpson, was also Commercial Bank of Scotland’s Annan agent. From 1848 to 1969 all his successors as agent were also secretary of the Savings Bank. Between 1891 and 1919 the Savings Bank also operated from premises adjacent to those of Commercial Bank.

By 1950 Annan Savings Bank had 5,738 accounts and over £1m deposits.

In 1959 Commercial Bank of Scotland merged with National Bank of Scotland to form National Commercial Bank of Scotland, which became part of the Royal Bank of Scotland in 1969. The Royal Bank of Scotland continued the long-standing connection with Annan Savings Bank. From 1968 its computer services were used to produce daily, monthly and annual printouts of transactions for the Savings Bank, and for the calculation and addition of interest to its depositors’ accounts.

The Banking Act 1979 prohibited the acceptance of deposits unless exempted by the Act or licensed by the Bank of England. As a temporary measure savings banks operating under the Scottish Savings Bank Act of 1819 (of which there were two - Annan Savings Bank and Airdrie Savings Bank) were exempted, but this was not a long-term solution. By 1984 the savings bank had 5,385 accounts and £3,309,531 of deposits and in late 1984 Annan Savings Bank, judging it unlikely that a licence would be awarded, agreed to a takeover by the Royal Bank of Scotland. The agreement took effect in January 1985.

Published histories

  • HO Horne, A History of Savings Banks (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1947)
  • W Roddick, Annan Savings Bank 1835 to 1985 (Annan: privately published by Dumfriesshire Newspapers Ltd, 1985)

Summary of our archive holdings

Our archival records of Annan Savings Bank have the reference code AS.

For help understanding words used here, check our glossary of banking record types (PDF 24KB).

  • minute books 1835-1915
  • annual reports and accounts 1837-1965
  • customer account ledgers 1839-1887
  • accounts of Ruthwell Savings Bank at the time of its acquisition by Annan Savings Bank 1875
  • letter books 1877-1906
  • press cuttings 1897-1985
  • rules 1920-1950
  • history 1985
  • home safe 1950s