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Clydesdale Bank ( ) is a commercial bank in Scotlandmarker, a subsidiary of the National Australia Bank (NAB) Group. In Scotlandmarker, Clydesdale Bank is the third largest clearing bank, although it also retains a branch network in Londonmarker and the north of Englandmarker. In 2001, Yorkshire Bank (previously the NABG's subsidiary in England) became a part of Clydesdale Bank, although it continues to trade under its own name.

Clydesdale Bank continues to issue its own banknotes for use in Scotland.


The headquarters of Clydesdale Bank in St Vincent Place, Glasgow
The Clydesdale Bank was founded in Glasgowmarker in 1838. The Clydesdale later expanded throughout Scotland, and later became the first Scottish bank to open branches in the north of England. In 1919 the Midland Bank acquired the Clydesdale Bank. In 1950 the Midland Bank merged the Clydesdale with the North of Scotland Bank which it acquired in 1926.

The Midland Bank later sold its UK subsidiaries, including the Clydesdale Bank, to NAB in 1987. The bank became part of NAB's UK and Irishmarker subsidiaries including Northern Bank in Northern Irelandmarker; National Irish Bank in Irelandmarker. In 1990 the Yorkshire Bank also became part of the group.

In the 1970s the Clydesdale Bank became a pioneer in the use of automated banking, including the widespread introduction of "AutoBank" ATM and keypads at branch counters. A new corporate identity (with a new "CB" logo and a mustard-yellow colour scheme) was also introduced.

In 2001, the NAB Group transferred the assets and liabilities of the Yorkshire Bank to the Clydesdale Bank as part of a reorganisation of its British businesses by amalgamating two banking licences into one. The National Australia Group Europe Act 2001 was a private Act of Parliament passed to facilitate the transfer. Yorkshire Bank is now a trading name of the Clydesdale Bank in England.

In 2005 NAB sold Northern Bank and National Irish Bank to the Danish Danske Bank.

In July 2007 Clydesdale Bank became the main sponsor of the Scottish Premier League in an £8 million four-year agreement.


Banknote history

Up until the middle of the nineteenth century, privately owned banks in Great Britain and Irelandmarker were permitted to issue their own banknotes, and money issued by provincial Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish banking companies circulated freely as a means of payment. While the Bank of England eventually gained a monopoly for issuing banknotes in England and Wales, banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland retained the right to issue their own banknotes and continue to do so to this day. In Scotland, Clydesdale Bank, along with Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland, still prints its own banknotes.

Current issue

A £20 Clydesdale Bank note.
The current series of notes issued by the Clydesdale Bank features a different design for each denomination, each depicting a notable person from Scottish history:

An image of Adam Smith also features on the £20 note issued in 2007 by the Bank of England, granting Smith the unique status of being the only person to feature on banknotes issued by two different British banks, and the first Scot to appear on a Bank of England banknote.

New Issue

In early 2009 Clydesdale Bank announced a new series of banknotes would be introduced later in the year. The obverse designs will feature famous Scots while the reverse designs will feature Scotland's UNESCOmarker World Heritage Sites.

2009 Series
Image Value Main Colour Design
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
£5 Blue Sir Alexander Fleming St Kildamarker

£10 Yellow-Brown Robert Burns Edinburgh Old and New Townsmarker

£20 Purple King Robert the Bruce New Lanarkmarker

£50 Green Elsie Inglis The Antonine Wallmarker

£100 Red Charles Rennie Mackintosh Neolithic Orkneymarker

Previous issues

The Clydesdale Bank ceased issuing £1 notes in the late 1980s. These latterly had an image of Robert the Bruce, whilst the contemporaneous £20 notes had an image of Lord Kelvin.

The £10 notes issued from 1971 bore an image of Scottish explorer David Livingstone with palm tree leaves and an illustration of African tribesmen on the back. A later issue showed Livingstone against a background graphic of a map of Livinstone's Zambezi expedition, showing the River Zambezimarker, Victoria Fallsmarker, Lake Nyasamarker and Blantyre, Malawimarker; on the reverse, the African figures were replaced with an image of Livingstone's birthplace in Blantyremarker.

Notes issued by Scottish banks circulate widely and may be used as a means of payment throughout Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom; although they do not have the status of legal tender they are accepted as promissory notes. It should be noted that no paper money is legal tender in Scotland, even that issued by the Bank of England (which is legal tender in England and Wales).

Commemorative banknotes

Occasionally the Clydesdale Bank issues special commemorative banknotes to mark particular occasions or to celebrate famous people. These notes are much sought-after by collectors and they rarely remain long in circulation. Examples to date have included:

Commonwealth Games

In March 2005, Clydesdale Bank became one of the official partners of the Scottish Commonwealth Games Team, at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbournemarker, Australia. This sponsorship builds on the relationship formed by its parent, NAB Group, who are one of the Games' main sponsors as well as a key partner with the Australian team, whilst the sister company, Bank of New Zealand, has joined forces to support its national team. The bank also released a series of Ten Pound (£10) notes with a Commonwealth Games related theme for the occasion. The bank is a major sponsor of the Glasgowmarker 2014 Commonwealth Games.

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