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Bank of Scotland

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About Bank of Scotland

The Bank of Scotland is the second oldest bank in the United Kingdom, being formed one year after the Bank of England. Today it functions as a clearing bank for the whole of the UK.

As well as being one of Scotland’s three banks, it has a long and distinguished history, being the first bank in the whole of Europe to print its own notes. It still prints pound sterling bank notes today, and they can be spent anywhere in the United Kingdom.

In 2001 the bank merged with Halifax to become known as HBOS, and in 2008 the HBOS group was in turn taken over by the Lloyds TSB Group. The Bank of Scotland’s customers today have access to a full range of banking products.

The bank was formed through an act of the Scottish parliament in July 1695, and opened for business 7 months later. Unlike the slightly earlier Bank of England, which was set up to act as a government bank, the Bank of Scotland was set up to aid Scottish businesses, and couldn’t lend to the government without first getting the approval of the Scottish parliament.

One curious point about the act that founded the bank is that it stated that all foreign born proprietors would instantly become naturalised Scots, an honour that was bestowed on one of its founders, the Englishman John Holland.

The 20th century saw the expansion of the bank both at home and overseas, and they have offices in countries such as the USA and Russia They also own banks that operate in Australia and New Zealand.

BoS customers today can take flexible loans of up to £25,000. Payments can be spread over 5 years, and a reduced rate may be available to customers who have been with Bank of Scotland for five years or more.

They also offer mortgages, although these are provided under the Halifax umbrella.