Glasgow Savings Bank

(1836-1976)

Foundation

First office in Hutcheson’s Hospital, 1836
First office in Hutcheson’s Hospital, 1836

Glasgow Savings Bank opened for business on 30th July 1836. Its foundation was largely due to the efforts of Alexander Gray, a Glasgow accountant. He had campaigned vigorously for such a bank, believing it would help and encourage the poor to save.

The trustees of the new bank consisted mainly of merchants and bankers. This was somewhat unusual; most savings banks relied on the local aristocracy and landed gentry to fulfil that role.

Expansion

The Bank's home was a hospital on Ingram Street, but it quickly established a network of agencies across city. These were staffed by volunteers. They opened only one day a week, and often just for a couple of hours.

As Glasgow expanded, so did the Savings Bank. It confined its operations to the city, however.  It was not until the 20th century that it expanded beyond the city limits. But by the start of the Second World War, it had built up a comprehensive branch network across the west of Scotland.

Post-war expansion was largely triggered by the housing boom in Glasgow. New estates were built, and the existing bomb-damaged ones repaired.  The Bank was keen to establish a strong presence in these communities.

Glasgow Savings Bank head office, 1895
Glasgow Savings Bank head office, 1895
Glasgow Savings Bank branch window display, c.1950
Glasgow Savings Bank branch window display, c.1950

In 1962, Glasgow Savings Bank became the first Scottish savings bank to introduce drive-in banking. This enabled customers to do their banking from the comfort of their car. The following year 'walk-up windows’ were launched for pedestrians; people could be served by the Bank's cashiers, without having to set foot in the branch.


A Larger TSB Group

In 1976, the TSB Act resulted in a new regional structure for the savings banks. Glasgow became part of the West of Scotland TSB.

Return to the TSB page.