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Yorkshire Bank is a banking brand operating in England as a trading name of Clydesdale Bank plc which is ultimately owned by CYBG plc. It mostly operates in the North of England, especially in Yorkshire. In 2006 underlying profit rose 16.7 per cent to £454 million compared with a year earlier, while post-tax earnings climbed 12.8 per cent to £229 million. Total income was up 8.7 per cent at £1,193 million, while net interest income climbed 14.6 per cent to £769 million.[1] The Yorkshire Bank brand is expected to be phased out in late 2019 and replaced by the Virgin Money brand which is also owned by CYBG plc.

Yorkshire Bank
Trading division
IndustryFinance and Insurance
Founded1 May 1859, Halifax, West Yorkshire
HeadquartersLeeds, England
Key people
David Duffy
ProductsFinancial Services
OwnerCYBG plc
ParentClydesdale Bank


The bank was established on 1 May 1859 by Colonel Edward Akroyd of Halifax. Based in Leeds in the West Riding of Yorkshire it was known as the West Riding Penny Savings Bank. It had originally been planned as a provident society but the status of savings bank was eventually chosen.

The bank was registered under the Friendly Societies Act and individual deposits were restricted to £30 per annum, up to a cumulative balance of £150. Within a year, the bank had opened 24 branches, and a further 104 in the year after. Sub-branches were opened in schools and church halls.

The bank was operated on a non profit making basis and in 1860 it was decided to extend operation to the other Ridings of Yorkshire. To recognise this the name was changed to the Yorkshire Penny Bank. In 1872, it issued cheque books for the first time, primarily for small tradesmen. At that time the bank became the first to create school banks, to encourage the idea of saving at an early age.

In 1911 depositors' balances were valued at £18 million although reserves were only £500,000 and that existing guarantees were not enough. The Bank of England organised a takeover by a consortium of banks (National Provincial Bank, Westminster Bank, Williams Deacons Bank, Lloyds Bank, Barclays Bank, Glyn Mills) and the Yorkshire Penny Bank adopted limited liability. After this the bank was able to offer overdrafts for the first time.

In its centenary year of 1959, the bank's name changed to Yorkshire Bank Limited. During the 1970s the bank became one of the first to offer fee free banking whilst in credit, a move that took bigger rivals a decade to follow. In 1982, it adopted public limited company status.

During the Miners' Strike from 1984 to 1985, the bank offered miners who were mortgage holders a deferment, allowing them to postpone payments for the duration of the dispute. The strike took place in the bank's heartland and many miners were customers, having been encouraged by the National Coal Board to have their pay mandated to a bank account.

A high street branch of the Yorkshire Bank in Peterborough

In 1990, the National Australia Bank Group acquired the bank from the consortium of owning banks which, after mergers and acquisitions, were the National Westminster Bank, (holders of 40%), Barclays Bank (32%), Lloyds Bank (20%), and Royal Bank of Scotland (8%). The price paid was £1 billion and the bank joined National Australia Bank's other European businesses, Clydesdale Bank (Scotland) and Northern Bank (which operated in both jurisdictions in Ireland).

In May 2005, the National Australia Bank announced its intention to merge the Yorkshire Bank with the Clydesdale under one operating licence, in which the former would be a trading name of the latter. Both operate under separate identities although the Clydesdale brand is the one that has been used in further expansion into the south of England (Northern Bank was sold to Danske Bank of Denmark along with its operations in the Republic of Ireland, the National Irish Bank). At the same time 40 branches were closed, a reduction of a fifth of the Yorkshire Bank network.[2]

In April 2012, National Australia Bank completed a strategic review of its businesses in the United Kingdom and decided to scale back operations, completely stopping Commercial Property Investment lending and closing 29 Financial Solutions Centres, with the resultant loss of 1,400 jobs over three years.[3]

The Yorkshire Bank Headquarters in Leeds in 2008

In July 2013, Yorkshire Bank forgot to renew its domain name, leading to customers being unable to log onto its website for a number of days. Yorkshire Bank blamed individual ISPs saying they had not refreshed their servers.[4] On 2 September 2014 the bank suffered more IT related issues as its systems left customers unable to make or receive payments for a period of time.[5]

National Australia Bank confirmed in October 2014 that it planned to exit the United Kingdom, and was considering a number of options for Yorkshire and Clydesdale Banks, including a possible stock market listing.[6] In October 2015, NAB announced that it will float Clydesdale Bank, including Yorkshire Bank, on the London Stock Exchange in February 2016 through an initial public offering,[7] with an aim of raising £2 billion.[8]

Clydesdale Bank's newly formed holding company CYBG plc began conditional trading on the LSE and the Australian Securities Exchange on 3 February 2016, and began trading unconditionally from 8 February 2016.[9]

In June 2018, CYBG plc announced it would acquire Virgin Money for £1.7 billion in an all-stock deal. Almost one in six employees are expected to lose their jobs in the takeover, which will result in retail customers being migrated to the Virgin Money brand over three years.[10]

In June 2019, CYBG plc announced its plans to consolidate its businesses under the Virgin Money brand. B and Yorkshire Bank, which exist as trading divisions of Clydesdale Bank plc will begin to use the Virgin Money name in Late 2019 and Clydesdale Bank will use the new name from late 2020 to early 2021.[11] In preparation for re-branding, the existing Virgin Money plc will be merged into the existing Clydesdale Bank plc in October 2019.[12]


  1. ^ "Yorkshire Bank in UK profits boost". Yorkshire Evening Post. 3 November 2006. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  2. ^ "Bank to shut down 100 UK branches". BBC Online. 11 May 2005. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank axe 1400 jobs". 30 April 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  4. ^ Derek du Preez (31 July 2013). "Confirmed: Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks forgot to renew domain name". Computerworld UK. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Yorkshire Bank customers hit by IT glitch". Financial Times. 2 September 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  6. ^ "NAB bank flags Clydesdale and Yorkshire sale in UK exit". BBC News. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  7. ^ Slater, Steve (28 October 2015). "Clydesdale could be target or challenger bank consolidator after IPO: CEO". Reuters. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  8. ^ Partington, Richard; David, Ruth (24 November 2014). "National Australia Said to Hire Morgan Stanley for U.K. Unit IPO". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  9. ^ Taverner, Charlie; Fedor, Lauren (3 February 2016). "Clydesdale Bank share price trades above opening offer as conditional trading starts on IPO after 24-hour delay". City A.M. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  10. ^ "Virgin Money bought by CYBG for £1.7bn". BBC News. 18 June 2018. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Launching the new Virgin Money". CYBG. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  12. ^ "Virgin merging". Virgin Money UK. Retrieved 7 July 2019.

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