1695: A bank for Scotland
Bank of Scotland was founded by an Act of the Scottish Parliament on 17 July 1695. It is Scotland's first and oldest bank and one of the first in the UK.

The original 172 shareholders came mainly from Scotland's political and merchant elite. They required a banking system which would offer long-term credit and security for merchants and landowners alike.

1696: Paper money launched
In 1696, Bank of Scotland became the first bank in Europe to successfully issue paper currency. The Bank's right to issue notes has been maintained to the present day.

1774: Branching out
The first branches were opened in Dumfries and Kelso in 1774 and by 1795 there were 27 branches. By 1860 this had risen to 43 branches and by 1939 there were 265 branches.

1853: Getting connected
In 1853, Bank of Scotland became one of the first Scottish banks to use the new electric telegraph service. Introduced in the 1840s, the telegraph was the 19th century equivalent of e-mail, providing instant communication for the first time.

Bank of Scotland Crest
1959: The computer revolution
In 1959, Bank of Scotland became the first UK bank to introduce a computer for processing its accounts centrally. Computers were to revolutionise the banking industry and again Bank of Scotland was at the forefront.

The Bank's Centralised Accounting Unit initially served just four branches. It took a decade to transfer all customer accounts onto the system. The arrival of the first computer was a source of great excitement. Several branch managers were taken to see it at the George Street office in Edinburgh. Only a few were allowed in at a time, for fear their body heat would cause the machine to malfunction.

Computer processing in 1959