Manchester & Salford Savings Bank

(1818-1976)

Foundation

Manchester & Salford Savings Bank Annual Report, 1922
Manchester & Salford Savings Bank Annual Report, 1922

The decision to open a savings bank in Manchester was taken in 1817. By the early 19th century the textile industry there was booming. This was due to technological advances brought about by the Industrial Revolution. However, this expansion also brought rapid and unplanned urbanisation. As a consequence, much of the city’s population lived in squalor and poverty. A savings bank would help these people help themselves, by providing a secure place to invest their money.

Manchester & Salford Savings Bank opened for business on 31st January 1818. Its trustees paid the initial start-up and running costs, until the Bank became self-supporting. It quickly proved popular. By 1830 it had outgrown its original offices in Marsden Square, and moved to new premises in Cross Street.

Crisis and Expansion

Manchester & Salford Savings Bank head office, 1924
Manchester & Salford Savings Bank head office, 1924

However, in May 1832 the Bank lost the confidence of its depositors. Rumours had been circulating throughout the country that questioned the security of the savings banks. By October, more than 3,000 of Manchester & Salford’s customers had closed their accounts. The Bank was reduced to letting out its front rooms to the Law Society, in order to meet its operating costs.

Fortunately this setback, although serious, was only temporary. The Bank expanded once more and, by 1842, it needed yet bigger premises. The new building, situated in King Street, was designed by well-known architect, Richard Lane. Lane was renowned for his Greek revival work in the Manchester area.

Business grew steadily during the rest of the 19th and the early 20th centuries. Along with many other savings banks, it benefited from the Government's efforts to boost savings during the First World War.

In 1939, Manchester & Salford flirted briefly with the idea of more radical expansion: a merger with Brighton Savings Bank was mooted. However, this ambitious proposal to join forces with a bank so far away was eventually rejected by the trustees. Instead, Manchester chose to offer financial assistance to Brighton.

Technological Pioneer

Manchester & Salford went on to play a key role in the computerisation of the TSBs. In the 1960s, its chief accountant was quick to recognise the potential of the emerging online technology. As a result, Manchester & Salford became one of the first savings banks to install branch computers. The earliest machines began operating in 1967.

A Larger TSB Group

The TSB Act of 1976, and subsequent reorganisation of the savings banks, meant that Manchester and Salford was absorbed into the new regional structure. It became part of TSB North-West Central Region.

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