Commercial Bank of Scotland, 113-115 Buchanan St – 1938

Photo (C5580): Sourced from Virtual Mitchell and reproduced with the kind permission of Glasgow City Archives.

A. Sydney Mitchell and George Wilson’s 1886 extension to David Rhind’s earlier Commercial Bank of Scotland (1854-7) stands imposingly on Buchanan Street. The Commercial Bank of Scotland was formed in 1810 in response to public dissatisfaction with the three charter banks (Bank of Scotland, British Linen Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland). James Anderson, in “The Story of the Commercial Bank of Scotland” (1910), writes “It was felt by many of the Scottish people that the three old Banks had become too…devoted to their own interests…to be the real promoters of the general good”. Contrary to the established model, the CBoS didn’t rely on a few wealthy men, but on hundreds of investors throughout Scotland, including those of more modest means.

In 1958 the CBoS acquired a 100% holding in the National Bank of Scotland creating a new entity: The National Commercial Bank of Scotland. In 1969 the National Commercial Bank of Scotland merged with the Royal Bank of Scotland. Nowadays the Royal Bank of Scotland still occupies the Gordon Street section of the building, while American chain restaurant TGI Friday’s occupies the corner site.

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