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The Union Bank was an early joint stock bank in the industrial heartland of Lancashire, established in 1836 with a capital of £6 million divided into 24,000 shares of £25 each. Although the original intention of the Union Bank was to confine itself to Manchester, after twenty years this policy was changed, and its first branch opened at Knutsford in 1856. The bank flourished with the growth of industry and acquired several smaller banks in Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire. It became an affiliated bank within the Barclays Group in 1919, when 99% of its capital was acquired under an arrangement whereby Union Bank shareholders were given shares in Barclays to replace their Union Bank shares. This was Barclays' last major acquisition before the Treasury put a block on major banking mergers in 1920. The Union Bank continued to be managed and marketed separately until 1940 when it was fully absorbed into Barclays.

Material available at Group Archives:

  • deed of settlement
  • board minutes (including lists of advances)
  • applications for employment 1830s-40s
  • bad debt lists
  • shareholders' registers and minutes
  • dividend registers
  • registers of failures 1900-44
  • records of junior staff engaged (with photographs) 1911-16
  • pensions ledger
  • staff food allowance scheme 1917
  • amalgamation papers
  • branch records including statistics 1920s-30s
  • historical notes 1943