Leeds, Skyrac & Morley Savings Bank

(1818-1976)

First office on Bank Street, c.1890.
First office on Bank Street, c.1890.

Foundation

In January 1818, at a public meeting at the Court House in Leeds, the decision was taken to establish a savings bank. As was common then, the trustees were important local dignitaries; they included two earls and two MPs. The savings bank was speedily established, opening just over a month later. Its first premises were located on the appropriately named Bank Street.

Expansion

The inhabitants of Leeds welcomed the new bank. In just five years, more than 2,000 accounts were opened and £200,000 deposited. As business continued to grow, the Bank moved to purpose-built premises in Bond Street. These later became its head office.

Accounts and deposits rose throughout the 19th century, resulting in the establishment of a branch network. As the population of Leeds expanded, so did the Bank. In response to the challenges of the First World War, the Bank employed its first female clerks. They replaced the men who had gone off to fight. A new office was also opened near the barracks at Colsterdale, to make banking easier for the soldiers.

Like much of the country, the Bank struggled during the interwar years.  Yet it was singled out for praise from the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Winston Churchill.  Churchill wrote to the trustees following the General Strike of 1926.  He asked that they pass on his congratulations ‘on the success which has attended [the Bank’s] work, under the industrial conditions which have prevailed’.

Leeds Skyrac & Morley Savings Bank’s Bond Street, Leeds office, 1835
Leeds Skyrac & Morley Savings Bank’s Bond Street, Leeds office, 1835

By 1965, the Bank had established a further nine branches. The one at Seacroft was formally opened by the Queen, in October of that year.

A Larger TSB Group

The TSB Act of 1976, and the following re-organisation, meant that the Bank was subsumed into the new regional structure of TSB. It became part of TSB of Yorkshire & Lincoln. 

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