Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/B/172

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1856-1987

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 157 production units.

Name of creator(s): Ottoman Bank x Imperial Ottoman Bank


Administrative/Biographical history:

The first Ottoman Bank was formed in 1856 as a British chartered company by a group of London businessmen with interests in Turkey. It was liquidated in 1863 when a new Turkish company, the Imperial Ottoman Bank was formed, with its head office in Istanbul and a board of directors divided between London and Paris. This new Turkish company which absorbed all the business of the old British company, operated under a concession granted by the Turkish government, and acted as the state bank of Turkey. In 1923 the new Turkish republic established its own central bank and the Imperial Ottoman Bank became an ordinary bank. In 1925 the bank reverted to its original title, the Ottoman Bank, as a condition of the renewal of its concession by the Turkish government.

The head office was located in Istanbul, but with management control resting with a board of directors, half of which sat in London and the other half in Paris, decisions taken by one half being subject to ratification by the other. Annual general meetings were held in London. Branches of the bank were opened throughout the Ottoman Empire; these became subsidiary banks when the Empire disintegrated. The branches in Turkey and subsidiaries in Yugoslavia and Syria were the particular interest of the Paris group of directors, while the London group supervised the branches in Egypt, Cyprus, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Transjordan and Roumania. In 1969 the branches of the bank in London, Cyprus, Jordan, Sudan, Uganda, Arabia and Jersey were taken over by Grindlay's Bank.

The London office had premises at 26 Old Broad Street 1856-62; 4 Bank Buildings, Lothbury 1863-71; 26 Throgmorton Street 1872-1947 (including 27 Throgmorton Street 1925-7); 20-22 Abchurch Lane 1948-58; 18-22 Abchurch Lane 1959-69; 23 Fenchurch Street 1970-71; 2-3 Philpot Lane 1972-83; 3rd floor, Dunster House, 17-21 Mark Lane 1984-7; and King Wiilliam House, 2A Eastcheap from 1988.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Ottoman Bank London office, including: records relating to the formation of the bank and its concession, 1875-1987; minutes, 1856-1969; annual general meetings and annual reports, 1863-1986; financial records, c 1856-1959; share records, 1856-63; internal management records, c 1860-1969; contracts and related papers, 1856-94; correspondence, agreements and related papers, 1889-1966; printed reports, 1948-71; magazines, 1918 and 1940; plans, 1890; photographs, 1892-1958; and miscellaneous items, c 1914-1968.


Language/scripts of material: English and French.

System of arrangement:

Records arranged by MS number, assigned during cataloguing at the Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section.

Conditions governing access:

Access by appointment only. Please contact staff.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

A collection of the bank's records comprising ledgers, loan registers, correspondence, account books and staff records, 19th-20th centuries, was destroyed prior to the deposit of the archive c 1985. A copy of a list compiled by the Business Archives Council in 1978, prior to the destruction of the records, is available from a member of staff.

Immediate source of acquisition:

The records were deposited in the Library in June 1987 and subsequently catalogued by Guildhall Library staff. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.


Publication note:

A history of the Ottoman Bank A 135-Year-Old Treasure: Glimpses of the Past in the Ottoman Bank Archive by Professor Edhem Eldem, 1998, is available in the Printed Books Section of the Guildhall Library. The volume includes photographs of the charter of 24 May 1856 and the supplemental charter of 25 Nov 1862.

For further information on the history of the bank see History of the Ottoman Bank (privately published 1988) available in the Printed Books section of the Library.


Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: January to May 2011.

Bankers | Bank employees | Business people | People by occupation | People
Banking | Occupations
Business records | Documents | Information sources
Overseas banks | Banks | Financial institutions | Finance
Banking x Banks

Personal names

Corporate names
Ottoman Bank x Imperial Ottoman Bank

City of London | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Turkey | Middle East