Friday, 19 March 2010

The UK's Only Independent Savings Bank (and it's Scottish)



Some months ago I mentioned the Airdrie Savings Bank which is the UK's last independent savings bank.

It prides itself on traditional banking and a strong community ethos and is now to expand across Scotland, believing the public want a return to simpler ways.

ASB, which has 60,000 customers and just over 100 staff, has seven branches in and around Lanarkshire.

General Manager Jim Lindsay said: " We had been planning on expanding locally then other people expressed an interest and we began looking at wider locations.

"We're likely to look at initially opening branches in places like Perth, Dundee and Stirling and are putting plans in place to have something worked out as quickly as possible.

"We should keep it in perspective though. We're not going to be a huge bank in five years. We were doing what we felt was right all along, just straight-forward banking."

No wonder Mr Lindsay looks pleased with himself. Sounds like my kind of bank and run by my kind of general manager.

Airdrie Savings Bank opened its doors on January 21, 1835, as part of the general thrift movement of the time. It operated at first from a hat shop before moving to its own premises along the road. In the 1970s it made the decision not to join the amalgamated TSB and consequently became Britain's last independent savings bank.


14 comments:

The Filthy Engineer said...

Can us scum from over the border open an account there? I would really like to bank with an outfit that has ethics and puts the customer first.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

Reminds me of a story i like to tell the young uns about my friend many years ago who went for a loan to buy his ford Capri.


The Bank manger went through all his income and outgoings and said

He could have the loan but he really should cut down on the amount he spend on socialising.

Now if we still had Bank managers of that character we would never of had a Banking Crisis would we??

INCOMING!!!!!!! said...

Good stuff SR.

subrosa said...

Scum FE? You're not scum.

I don't know if they'll do postal banking FE but I'm sure they'd do well if they did.

subrosa said...

Niko that takes me back to when I wanted a loan for a 'new' car. My Dad said he's be guarantor (I was under 21) so I phoned the bank manager and he told me on the phone the sacrifices I'd have to make to upgrade to my Ford Anglia from my Austin 30 which has decided to go on fire.

tris said...

I just hope that they are not tempted to become too big. There used to be a Dundee Savings Bank, but like many of the others it was swallowed by the Trustees Savings Bank which in turn was swallowed by Lloyds, and now with The Halifax and the Birmingham Midshires and the The Bank of Scotland.... it's become something altogether different... and as we know LOSS MAKING.


I have to say that the toruble is, when there were bank managers that told you to curb your spending, and called you in for a severe dressing down.... were you always happy?

Of course, the banking crisis had very little to do with little bank managers in little branches. It had far more to do with high powered money making machines in Edinburgh and New York and Tokyo and Hong Kong and London....

If their policy is to allow every Tam, Dick and Jock a credit card then Mr Mainwaring can't do anything about it.

But I have French and German mates with very good jobs who have never had a credit card in their lives.

Maybe we should learn from them.

subrosa said...

Aye I remember the DSB Tris. But the Airdrie one seems to be the only one which didn't amalgamate into the TSB.

It would seem that the ASB will continue with their 'old fashioned' method of banking and that would include assessing folk for credit and debit cards - the way it was when I first applied many years ago.

Lots of Irish don't like cards either, they prefer to deal in cash. I've a friend with a big business who won't work any other way.

wisnaeme said...

Uh Huh. Airdrie born me. When I started school ( Saint Margarets ) Grannie Monty opened a wean's saving account for me there.
...and until I was nine when I left Airdrie, used to take me down with the thrupney bits, the silver tanners, hapnies and rare special occasion hauf croons to deposit into my account.

... and ah've never had the need to have wan o those dangerous creatures either, Tris.

I've still got a couple of them wee blue books in a drawer somewhere, the entries neatly done in old fashioned copperplate handwriting and then ink stamped and initialed.

Ta grannie Monty.

subrosa said...

Jings wisnaeme, they wee books'll be heirlooms by noo. :)

banned said...

Lets hope they don't spoil themselves by reckless expansion as so many succesful small companies do.
I first heard of the Airdrie Savings Bank when, at the height of the credit crunch, some of the big players were reduced to begging the Airdrie for whatever few thousands of pounds they might hold in liquid assets.

ps, the big banks have still not learned their lesson. Late last year they gave my neighbours lad an unsecured loan of £2,000, he's a nice enough chap but on minimum wages, not much formal education, no credit history and zero assets. When asked for the reason he wanted the advance he made something up on the spur of the moment. Twats.

subrosa said...

Oooops Incoming, sorry missed your comment there. Aye it's good to see - heartwarming.

subrosa said...

They seem a canny set-up banned and just want to provide a basic service. There's still money to be made in that of course but greed took over the big boys.

Daft laddie and daft bank I'd say. Hopefully he'll learn the lesson that it has to be repaid and regularly.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Just think, if the man in the photo is heading a bank that has a genuine surplus after all liabilities and risks are accounted for, the ASB could be the biggest and only viable bank in the UK.

subrosa said...

Quite possibly RA. He'll keep these details close to his chest of course.

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