Page last updated at 23:39 GMT, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 00:39 UK

Timeline: The Bank of Scotland

HBOS, which is merging with Lloyds TSB, was created in 2001 through a merger between the Bank of Scotland and the Halifax.

That deal brought to an end an independent history dating back more than 300 years for the Bank of Scotland.

Here are some of the important dates in the history of the Scottish institution.

17 JULY 1695

The Bank of Scotland was founded by an Act of the Scottish Parliament, making it the first bank to be established in Scotland. It was set up to help develop Scotland's trade, mainly with England and the Low Countries. The 172 original shareholders (including 36 based in London) came mainly from Scotland's political and merchant elite.


Bank of Scotland notes

The bank was the first in Europe to successfully issue paper currency. The first notes were issued in denominations of 5, 10, 50 and 100 - the 1 note did not appear until 1704. Despite several threats throughout its history, the bank maintained the right to issue notes.


The Bank of Scotland faced an end to its banking monopoly in Scotland with the establishment of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Intense competition ensued.


The bank was forced to close its doors as Bonnie Prince Charlie's army occupied the city of Edinburgh. The bank's valuables were taken to the castle for safekeeping until the army left.


After early unsuccessful attempt to establish a branch network, its first branches were opened in Dumfries and Kelso. By 1795 there were 27 branches: this had risen to 43 by 1860 and to 265 by 1939.


The bank took a leading role in establishing the stability of the financial system. In 1857 the Western Bank collapsed. The Bank of Scotland, along with the other major Scottish banks, stepped in to maintain confidence in the Scottish banking system and ensured that holders of the bank's notes were paid.


The Bank of Scotland was involved in a number of deals with other institutions, merging with the Glasgow-based Union Bank of Scotland in 1955. Three years later it expanded into consumer credit with the acquisition of North West Securities (later Capital Bank). Then, in 1971, it merged with the British Linen Bank


It became the first UK bank to install a computer for processing its accounts centrally.


With the development of North Sea oil fields, the Bank of Scotland had set up its own specialist oil division and financed exploration of the Forties Field by the early years of the decade. In 1975 the Bank of Scotland opened its first overseas office in Houston, Texas. Branches followed in other US states; Moscow; Hong Kong; and Singapore. Inroads were made into Australasia, with the purchase of Countrywide in New Zealand in 1987 and the Bank of Western Australia (BankWest) in 1995.

JUNE 1999

The Bank of Scotland scrapped a controversial deal with the outspoken United States television evangelist Pat Robertson. The bank had been trying to break into the US retail banking sector.


The Bank of Scotland merged with the Halifax to form HBOS plc. Previous attempts to merge with NatWest and Abbey National had been unsuccessful.


A steep decline in the value of HBOS shares. The bank maintained that it had a "strong capital base".


HBOS agreed to merge with Lloyds TSB, creating a banking giant which will hold close to one-third of the UK's savings and mortgage market.

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