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Established at Newcastle in 1872 with a specific purpose of providing finance for the heavy industries of the district (for example, the ordnance firm of Armstrongs), the bank's managing director was Benjamin Noble, a Scotsman recruited specifically for the task, and one of the notable bankers of the late Victorian era. The head office was initially at St. Nicholas' Chambers, but was moved to Grey Street in 1877. In its first year, the North Eastern Bank opened branches in Consett, West Hartlepool, Jarrow, Gateshead and Barrow-in-Furness. The purchase of the Alnwick and County Bank in 1875 added seven more branches and the bank continued to expand, amalgamating with Dale, Young and Company in 1892. 40 branches are listed in the annual report for 1893, and between then and 1909 half yearly profits increased from £12,404 to £27,893. Negotiations during the 1890s to amalgamate with Backhouses of Darlington petered out. By 1914, the bank had over 100 branches and sub-branches and in this year it amalgamated with the Bank of Liverpool to form the largest provincial bank in the country. In 1918, this company amalgamated with Martins Bank, which became part of Barclays in 1969.

This is the only significant joint stock bank for which no board minutes have come to Group Archives. Other material available at Group Archives:

  • prospectus and memorandum and articles
  • annual reports and accounts
  • management correspondence (including a rare series of 50 out letter-books 1872-1915)
  • shareholders' registers
  • securities ledger 1880s
  • staff terms 1886-93
  • branch records including statistics
  • amalgamation papers