Midland Bank

1987 ad for Midland Banks.

Midland Bank was one of the Big Four banking groups in the United Kingdom for most of the 20th century. It is now part of HSBC. The bank was founded as the Birmingham and Midland Bank in Union Street, Birmingham, England in August 1836. It expanded in the Midlands, absorbing many local banks, and merged with the Central Bank of London Ltd in 1891, becoming the London City and Midland Bank. After a period of nationwide expansion, including the acquisition of many smaller banks, the name Midland Bank Ltd was adopted in 1923. By 1934 it was the largest deposit bank in the world. In 1992, it was taken over by HSBC Holdings plc.

The Midland Bank was famous for its golden griffin logo, surrounded by golden dots on a blue background, and for its slogan “the listening bank”, written by the advertising executive Rod Allen. Advertisements for the bank appeared in the popular Theme Park computer game. The Midland Bank was rebranded as HSBC Bank in 1999 as part of the adoption of the HSBC brand throughout the group.


Midland Bank opened for business in Union Street, Birmingham, England, in August 1836 and was the brain-child of its first manager, Charles Geach. Having left a secure appointment at the Bank of England to take up the challenge of commercial banking, Geach had the business support and capital backing of leading merchants and manufacturers in Birmingham.

The town and its region were the heartland of the Industrial Revolution and the new bank began business in a thriving, but highly competitive local economy. In the 1830s and 1840s, Midland occupied an important niche in Birmingham business, particularly in the discounting of bills of exchange for its customers. Links with local industrial and commercial concerns were especially strong and, by the 1850s, the bank’s customers included railways, iron founders and engineering concerns, utilities and municipal corporations.

Midland established its first branches by acquiring utilities and municipal corporations like Stourbridge Old Bank in 1851 and Nichols, Baker and Crane of Bewdley in 1862. Both firms had been pioneers of banking in the West Midlands: the origins of the Stourbridge bank can be traced back to 1762 and the Bewdley bank dated from 1777.

Info taken from Wikipedia

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