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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/B/207-4
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1854-1979
Level of description: Collection
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Extent: 735 production units.
Name of creator(s): Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China x Chartered Bank


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China, known from 1956 as Chartered Bank, was established by Royal Charter in 1853. It was an overseas exchange bank, based in and controlled from the Copyright to this collection rests with the City of London.. It was established to take advantage of the end of the East India Company's monopoly in 1853.

The bank operated in India and throughout the Far East-in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Siam [Thailand], Burma [Myanmar], Singapore, Malacca, Penang and the Malay States, the Philippines, Japan, Java, Sumatra, Ceylon [Sri Lanka], North Borneo, Brunei, Sarawak, Pakistan and East Pakistan. There were also branches in New York and Hamburg. Despite its name, the bank never operated in Australia.

Further UK branches opened in Manchester (1937) and Liverpool (1948). The bank gained a second London office and additional branches in India, Pakistan, China and Ceylon with the takeover in 1938 of the P and O Banking Corporation.

The bank's activities in the Far East were severely disrupted by World War Two and nationalist post-war governments in the region. The takeover in 1957 of rival Eastern Bank presented new opportunities. Eastern Bank was active in Chartered Bank's traditional areas of operation, but also had branches in the Middle East-in Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Lebanon, Qatar, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman. In the same year, Chartered Bank purchased the Ionian Bank's interests in Cyprus.

The bank operated from various addresses in its earliest years, and was afterwards for many years based in Hatton Court, Threadneedle Street. It moved just before the First World War to Bishopsgate, where it remained until 1969, when it merged with Standard Bank to form what is now Standard Chartered Bank.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China, also known as Chartered Bank, including half-yearly head office and branch balance sheets 1858-1972; half-yearly returns from London and head office 1859-1976; staff records 1854-1960; schedules of bank premises, insurance and strongroom provision 1911-1979 and some miscellaneous papers 1863.

Access to the bank's archives is subject to a 45-year rule, with a 70-year rule for specifically personnel records.

These records are still being catalogued and the Archive holds around 75 linear yards of material dating from 1853 which does not appear in the catalogue and for which there is as yet no accurate list. This uncatalogued material is at present unavailable to readers.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

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 Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The bank's archives were deposited in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library in 1989 and after. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Some important records of the bank have been retained by Standard Chartered. These comprise all of the board and committee minutes, and all the records of shareholders. In addition, not all the records listed in L.S. Pressnell and J. Orbell, Guide to the historical records of British banking (1985), or by the Business Archives Council in 1979-80, have been deposited in the Manuscripts Section. The whereabouts of these other records are unknown.

Publication note:

For further details of the history of the bank see Sir Compton Mackenzie, Realms of silver: one hundred years of banking in the East (London, 1954) and Geoffrey Jones, British multinational banking 1830-1990 (Oxford, 1993).

Description Notes

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.

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