Lessons from history – by Edward Leigh MP

The following was passed on to me by a friend. It concerns the Royal Bank of Scotland in particular, but the moral of the story applies to any financial institution in general.
In 1924 The Royal Bank of Scotland purchased the old established Scottish Bank, Drummonds Bank of Charing Cross. Up until that date, the City office of Royal Bank of Scotland in Bishopsgate had been their only place of business in London.
Drummonds Bank was founded by Andrew Drummond at Charing Cross in 1717.
In Feb 1812, soon after he had been appointed Keeper of the Privy Purse, Andrew Berkeley Drummond wrote a long letter to one of his cousins, who had just been made a Partner. The letter is full of wise advice, under several headings – a sort of ‘Ten Commandments’ for bankers who were to be distinguished from what George III had called
‘the Common sort of moneyed Men.’
Having warned his young cousin of ‘guarding against one of the most amiable propensities of the human mind, I mean indiscreet assistance of those for whom we have personal regard & affection’, Andrew Berkeley Drummond continued –
‘What is deposited with you is not yours— No, it is the property of the confiding Friend who places his reliance on you. It is the property of the Widow and the orphan who regard it as safe in your Hands, & in our case moreover it is the property of the Sovereign of the Country who selects us for the deposit because he expects (& expressly has declared that to be his motive) to find in us, the nice Honour of Gentlemen added to the common honesty & Integrity of Men of Business.’

All of the above is quoted from the book, The Drummonds of Charing Cross by Hector Bolitho and Derek Peel, published in 1967. Copyright The Royal Bank of Scotland!


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