London Joint Stock Bank

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The London Joint Stock Bank was founded in London in 1836. It was acquired by Midland Bank (now HSBC UK) in 1918. Midland was acquired by HSBC Holdings plc in 1992.

The new bank was active in the London money market and provided banking services to the city’s growing metropolitan districts. The prospectus set out to raise a starting capital of GBP300,000 and business began at No. 29 Coleman Street in November 1836. The board appointed an experienced banker, George Pollard, as the first manager. The following year operations moved to a new home in Princes Street. Deposits reached GBP2.5 million by 1844 and the bank joined the London Clearing House a decade later. The branch network in London steadily grew through acquisitions, including the business of Wright and Co (1840), Albion Bank (1871) and Imperial Bank (1893). The London bank also carved out foreign business such as correspondent banking and loan issuing.

In 1909 it acquired York City and County Bank to place it within the top 10 of English and Welsh banks. The network now included 250 branches and deposits stood at GBP34 million. It soon caught the eye of London City and Midland Bank – one of its rivals. Negotiations in 1913 did not work out, but talks resumed in 1918 and a deal was concluded in July. This hugely significant merger saw the newly named London Joint City and Midland Bank become the largest bank in the world with deposits of nearly GBP300 million.

Further reading: ‘A Hundred Years of Joint Stock Banking’ by J. E. Wadsworth and W. F. Crick (Hodder & Stoughton, 1936).

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