Liverpool Savings Bank
Liverpool Savings Bank was first opened in 1815. Prior to that, various philanthropic savings institutions had existed in the city. But there was a desire for something more permanent that would encourage the poor to save long-term. Liverpool was one of the earliest savings banks in England and Wales. Many of its trustees were local philanthropists and prominent members of the community.
The Savings Bank proved so popular that it soon had to move to larger offices; it left its original home in Ranelagh Street for the Freemasons’ Hall, in 1819. Ten years later, the Bank had purchased the Hall itself and the adjacent land, in order to extend its premises.
Inspecting the Customers
Many savings banks deliberately made it far more difficult for people to withdraw cash than to deposit it. Liverpool Savings Bank was no exception. In the early years, money could only be taken out on two designated days each month. Archdeacon Brooks, one of the trustees, insisted on overseeing all the withdrawals himself. He would quiz customers on the reason for the withdrawal, and took every opportunity to dispense ‘sound moral advice’.
Despite the Archdeacon’s scrutiny, the Bank's business continued to grow. By 1829, there were more than 6,000 customers, and deposits topped £275,000. In the 1830s, the unusual step was taken of setting up a lending library; this was in addition to its normal financial services. The trustees wanted to increase the Bank’s ‘usefulness’ to the local community. The library remained part of the Bank until 1846, when it was donated to the Liverpool Collegiate Institution.
By the 1850s, Liverpool Savings Bank had become the fifth largest in the UK. In September 1858, it established its first branch in Kirkdale. Others followed throughout the rest of the 19th century, and into the 20th. During the First World War, an additional 25,000 accounts were opened. This was due mainly to the Government’s drive to get the country saving, to help the war effort. By the outbreak of the Second World War, the Bank’s presence stretched right across the north-west.
A Larger TSB Group
After the War, the Bank’s deposits continued to rise. Its success enabled it to provide funds to savings banks in other regions, allowing them to expand.
As a result of the TSB Act of 1976, the savings banks underwent a major restructuring; Liverpool Savings Bank became part of TSB of Mid-Lancashire & Merseyside.
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