The People of Gibraltar
1888 - Anglo-Egyptian Bank - Dominion Colonial and Overseas

Messers Albert Porral and Joseph A Patron - John A Gill and P.J Griffin
John Giraldi, and Ernest Russo, - Joaquin Bado and Joseph Griffin
W.S. Roscoe and M Barabich - James Saconne, Galliano and Larios
W.A.Browning

A bank is a bank is a bank - but unlike roses it is not the most exciting of subjects to write about. But I do have ulterior motives for writing about this one - so with apologies to Gertrude Stein for thoroughly misquoting her - here goes.

The Anglo-Egyptian Bank was established in Egypt by the British  in 1864. Gibraltar was its third overseas branch after Cyprus and Malta and it was formed by joining forces with the banking business of James Saccone -a prosperous Gibraltar wine merchant- on the 1st of June 1888.


The Saccone family  ( Very early 20th century )

During the late 19th century it was alive and kicking and doing well on the Rock - so much so that it was producing its own bank notes. It also attempted to entice the man-in-the street to invest by offering savings accounts that could be opened with as little as one Spanish peseta. The interest was guaranteed to be higher than that paid by the Post Office Savings.


Their main competitors were Galliano's Bank in Cannon Lane and the Larios Brothers also in Main Street.

In the late 19th century it could boast a capital of £1,200,000 sterling  - a considerable amount of money in those day by any standards . It also held a reserve fund of £150,000 and was paying its shareholders about 8 % per anum. The branch was managed by Messers Albert Porral and Joseph A. Patron - both wealthy local merchants in their own right. The staff consisted of John A Gill - the cashier - P.J Griffin, John Giraldi, Ernest Russo, Joaquin Bado, Joseph Griffin, W.S. Roscoe and M Barabich

By 1925 The Anglo-Egyptian had 16 branches in all most of them in Mediterranean cities which in turn put the bank in a good position to allow it to offer its services to the British who were by far the dominant power in the region. Four years before that, however, Barclays Bank obtained a controlling interest in the Anglo Egyptian and eventually merged the bank with two other ones to form Barclay's Bank (Dominion Colonial and Overseas).


The hanging sign on top in Main Street identifies Barclays Bank and points the way towards Irish town   (1950s)

In 1925 Gibraltar's Colonial Secretary of Gibraltar W.A.Browning  received a memo, issued no doubt in triplicate, from the local Government Treasurer;
At the outbreak of the war in 1914 notes designated as ‘Bank Notes’ were issued by the Government of Gibraltar to assist the Anglo-Egyptian Bank to meet its liabilities in the event of a run either on its own institution or the Government Savings Bank.
These contingency plans could not have come quickly enough as there was indeed a run on the bank in 1914, compelling the Government to make an emergency issue of British Territory notes.


Government 2 shilling note - curiously the value is in Spanish while all the rest is in English
 ( 1914 - Many thank to John Ferrary )


A five pound note issued in 1886 by the Anglo-Egyptian Banking Company Limited in Malta - I would imagine that the Gibraltar notes would not have been all that different

By a coincidence when I was a young man, I worked for the Irish Town branch of Barclays Bank (Dominion Colonial and Overseas) in Gibraltar. I learned two things - how to count other people's money and how to add up long lists of numbers accurately and at speed.


Barclays Bank Staff  - that's me back row second from left  ( 1957 )