Bank of British Columbia
Location: British Columbia, Canada
<center>First President:
Existed: 1862-1986
Merged into modern-day Hongkong Bank of Canada

There have been two Canadian banks with the name Bank of British Columbia.

The first bankEdit

The first was established by Royal Charter in 1862, with its head office in London.[1] Between 1862 and 1871 it issued dollar banknotes. By 1885 it had branches in San Francisco, Portland, Oregon (est. 1866), Victoria, British Columbia (est. 1862) and New Westminster (est. 1862). In 1889 it established a branch in Seattle. In 1901 it merged with the Canadian Bank of Commerce. At the time of the merger it had branches in Vancouver (est. 1886), Victoria, Kamloops, Nanaimo, Nelson, New Westminster, Rossland, Sandon, San Francisco, Portland, and London.


There is $48,797.00 in outstanding bank notes from the bank of British Columbia. The bills are in $1, $5, $10, $20 and $50 denominations. The bills were issued from 1863 to 1894. The bills bring anywhere from $500 to $1500 for each bill on the collectors market.[2]


The Bank of British Columbia in Victoria, British Columbia was built in 1885 and was designated as a heritage site by the City of Victoria in 1975.[3] The Bank of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia was built in 1889 to 1891 and was added to Vancouver's Community Heritage Register in 1986.[4]

The second bankEdit

The second bank was chartered in 1966 with headquarters in Vancouver and was the creation of W.A.C. Bennett, the Premier of British Columbia. Mr. Bennett, a businessman, wanted to end Central Canada's control over the banking industry which obliged all but the smaller loans for companies in British Columbia to receive authorization from head offices in either Montreal or Toronto.

In 1986, the bank had 1410 employees, 41 branches in BC and Alberta, and offices in the Cayman Islands, the US, and Hong Kong. Assets in 1986 were CAD$2.7 billion, which put the bank 27th among banks and financial institutions in Canada. Revenue in 1986 was $324 million.

Following financial difficulties arising from poor management, most notably by Edgar Kaiser, Jr,citation required in 1986 the Canadian government permitted the Hongkong Bank of Canada (HSBC) to rescue it.[5] By stepping in, HSBC acquired a large base of stable retail deposits. The acquisition immediately raised HSBC's rank amongst Canadian banks from the 20th to the 9th largest.

See alsoEdit




  • [1] 1986 Bank of British Columbia Business Continuation Act. From the Department of Justice
  • Barlee, Neville Langrell (1976) Historic Treasures and lost mines of British Columbia. (Canada West Publications).

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