District Bank Ltd | RBS Heritage Hub

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District Bank Ltd

Home safes issued by District Bank Ltd, 1960s © RBS 2016

 

District Bank (1829-1969), established in Manchester, was a past constituent of NatWest.

 

Brief history

This joint stock bank was promoted in 1829 by Joseph Macardy, a Manchester stockbroker, originally under the name District Union Banking Co. Before it commenced business in December 1829 it was renamed Manchester & Liverpool District Banking Co and acquired the Stockport private bank of Christy, Lloyd & Co.

The bank's Manchester office, initially in Norfolk Street, moved to Spring Gardens in 1834. Branches were opened in Oldham, Liverpool and Hanley in 1830 and by late 1833 17 branches existed.

Nantwich & South Cheshire Joint Stock Bank was acquired upon its failure in 1844, followed by Loyd, Entwisle & Co of Manchester in 1863 and J, J & G Alcock of Burslem in 1865. By 1880, when the bank acquired limited liability, becoming Manchester & Liverpool District Banking Co Ltd, it had 54 branches and sub-branches in Lancashire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire.

In 1881 Southport & West Lancashire Banking Co was acquired. The bank opened an office in London in 1885 and in 1891 acquired William, John & Thomas Brocklehurst & Co of Macclesfield. Branches continued to be opened in the north-west and Wales and Lancaster Banking Co and Bank of Whitehaven were acquired in 1907 and 1916 respectively. The bank was renamed District Bank Ltd in 1924, a title by which it had long been popularly known. A second office was opened in London in 1925.

In 1935 the business amalgamated with County Bank, a Manchester-based bank with a network of 190 branches, creating a merged bank with a paid-up capital of £3 million. In 1936 it was admitted to the London Clearing House.

By the late 1930s a number of branches had been opened east of the Pennines, in the Midlands, southern England and Wales. This expansion of the network resumed after the Second World War.

In 1962 the bank was acquired by National Provincial Bank, but it continued to operate independently until 1968, by which time it had 570 branches. In 1968 National Provincial Bank announced plans to merge with Westminster Bank. Extensive preparations were made, and from 1 January 1970 the three merging banks' names disappeared from the high street, being replaced by National Westminster Bank.

 

Published histories

  • F MacColl. The key to our success. A short history of the NatWest Group. (London: privately published by National Westminster Bank, 1996)
  • R Reed, National Westminster Bank. A short history (London: privately published by National Westminster Bank, 1989)

 

Summary of our archive holdings

Our archival records of District Bank have the reference code DIS.

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

Corporate records

  • share ledger 1829-38
  • directors' meeting minutes 1829-1968
  • appeal to Stockport shareholders 1830
  • Liverpool shareholders' minutes 1830
  • deeds of settlement 1831, 1843
  • guardbook of minutes, inspection reports and accounts 1832-43
  • general meeting: report 1832, shareholder signatures 1837, proceedings 1837, 1915
  • share certificates 1833-8
  • shareholder lists 1834-82, 1900
  • share registers 1837-57, 1924-64
  • annual reports 1838-1969
  • agenda book 1839-40
  • grants of arms 1843, 1871
  • dividends memorandum book 1851-97
  • memorandum book re directors 1865-99
  • partnership information book 1865-1900
  • registers of bankruptcies and liquidations 1865-1915
  • draft minute book 1866-7
  • papers re incorporation of company 1870-1, 1880
  • seal book 1871-88
  • list of shareholders 1873
  • memorandum and articles of association 1895-1951
  • board committee meeting minute books 1896-1959
  • daily administrative committee minutes: head office 1897-1923, Lancaster area 1907-16
  • head office minute books 1897-1923
  • presscuttings re proposal to merge with Lloyds Bank 1903
  • list of directors 1903-69
  • amalgamation papers: Lancaster Banking Co 1906-7, Bank of Whitehaven 1915, County Bank 1935
  • half-yearly meetings: report on chairman’s address 1914, report on proceedings of meeting 1915
  • joint general manager's file 1920s-1930s
  • merger agreement with County Bank Ltd 1935
  • general manager's minutes and papers 1935-69
  • London directors' meeting minute books 1947-69
  • investment committee minutes 1949-61
  • capital reorganisation papers 1957
  • correspondence with National Provincial Bank 1962-9
  • economics department minutes 1963-8
  • papers re merger to create National Westminster Bank 1968

Financial records

  • general ledger 1829
  • bills of exchange 1830-64
  • past due bills register 1830-96
  • monthly balance sheets 1838-42
  • promissory note 1839
  • investments memorandum book 1849-56
  • bills for acceptance registers 1864-1900
  • list of bills 1871-73, 1912
  • head office day book sheets 1872
  • bank rate memorandum book 1880-93
  • transactions rates books 1880s
  • statistics: reserves and dividends 1911-33
  • balance sheets and profit and loss accounts 1914-69
  • accountant's statistics book 1920-68
  • balance sheets 1924-69
  • half-yearly statistics 1946-68
  • valuation of investments 1958-69

Customer records

  • cheques and cheque forms 1835-(1915)
  • list of securities for advances 1849-73
  • banknote indemnities 1893-(1915)
  • memorandum book re customer overdrafts 1911-(1915)

Head office branch records

  • branch weekly returns register 1842-6
  • memorandum books, London agent 1842-1909
  • correspondent book, London agent 1868-74
  • statistics: branches 1877-1923
  • foreign department: correspondence 1888-1969
  • lists of branches 1888, 1905-8, 1937-69
  • correspondence re overseas business 1892-1941
  • branch balance sheets and returns 1914-1969
  • silver coin returns 1915
  • foreign department minutes 1917-59
  • coins held books 1924-5
  • London foreign manager's minutes 1931-69
  • telegraph code book 1935
  • mechanisation correspondence 1959-70
  • annual returns 1962-71

Staff records

  • instructions for directors and officers 1831
  • declarations of secrecy 1839-70
  • instructions for managers 1843
  • staff register 1846-66
  • staff rules 1850
  • pension fund rules and papers 1889-(1915)
  • head office staff register 1897-1914
  • staff record cards c.1900-(1915)
  • staff dinner menus 1907-39, 1956-66
  • staff sports club papers 1911-(1915)
  • pension fund annual reports 1925-48
  • staff articles of service 1938
  • directors photographs 1930s
  • book of remembrance c.1945

Property records

  • branch architectural drawings c.1862-1960s
  • premises photographs 1900s-1960s
  • conveyance of County Bank properties 1936
  • property valuation books 1949

Note issue records

  • banknotes 19th century
  • return of Bank of England notes held 1913

Marketing records

  • marketing booklets 1920-60s
  • press advertising guardbook 1929-34
  • advertising poster, home safes c.1930s

Branch records

  • selected records
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