Kilmarnock Banking Company

(1802-1821)

The Kilmarnock Banking Company was a small provincial bank, established in 1802. Its partners consisted of James Fairlie of Bellfield; Mungo Fairlie of Holmes; Patrick Ballantine of Castlehill, Ayr; George Douglas of Rodinghead; and William Parker of Asloss. This latter also acted as Cashier and Manager.

In 1821, the partnership was dissolved and the business taken over by Hunters and Company of Ayr. One of the conditions of the takeover was that Hunters & Co. should establish an agency (branch) in Kilmarnock. This was duly set up, under the management of Charles D. Gairdner. Gairdner's son, incidentally (also Charles), was later to rise to prominence as General Manager of the Union Bank of Scotland.

Management of the Kilmarnock business did not always run smoothly. Hunters & Co. asked a local man, Quintin Kennedy, to assist Gairdner. But disagreements arose between the two about lending decisions. Their differences were irreconcilable, and in 1830, Kennedy departed. He set up his own Ayrshire Bank, in direct competition with Hunters & Co. It was subsequently absorbed by the Western Bank of Scotland in 1845.

Former Hunters and Company branch in Kilmarnock, 1950s
Former Hunters and Company branch in
Kilmarnock, 1950s.

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Further Information

  • The History of the Union Bank of Scotland by Robert Rait (John Smith & Son Ltd., Glasgow, 1930), chapter 8.