Sheffield Savings Bank

(1819-1976)

Foundation

Sheffield Savings Bank head office, 1860
Sheffield Savings Bank head office, 1860

Sheffield & Hallamshire Savings Bank was founded in 1819, largely due to the efforts of James Montgomery. Montgomery was a local journalist and poet. He was also a friend of the Revd Henry Duncan, who had set up the world's first commercial savings bank eight years earlier.

Sheffield was a major centre for cutlery-making, and had been for centuries. One of its principal buildings was the Cutlers' Hall, and it was from here that the Bank first operated. Early business was brisk: within a year, 256 accounts had been opened, and £4,000 deposited. 

A New Home

In 1860, the Bank moved to a very grand purpose-built office, designed by the architect T.J. Flockton. It was described as ‘one of the first buildings in the town centre with any pretension of elegance’. Flockton was also responsible for Sheffield’s Endcliffe Hall and the Mappin Art Gallery. The Bank building was extensively refurbished in 1974, when only the façade was retained.

The original customer base of the Sheffield & Hallamshire had been dominated by steel workers. By the second half of the century, however, a large proportion consisted of artisans and female servants. The Bank’s trustees were interesting too, being drawn mainly from the ranks of local merchants and the professional classes. This was in contrast to the majority of savings banks, whose trustees came from the aristocracy and landed gentry.

Expansion

Sheffield Savings Bank head office interior, 1966
Sheffield Savings Bank head office interior, 1966

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Bank engaged in some small-scale expansion by opening several branch offices. It was not until after the Second World War, however, that significant growth occurred; 15 new branches were established.

A Larger TSB Group

The TSB Act of 1976 led to the restructuring of the savings banks the following year. As a result, Sheffield & Hallamshire became part of TSB of Yorkshire & Lincoln.

Return to the TSB page.