Bank of Scotland
Company: Lloyds Banking Group PLC
Brand value: US$1,225 million
Headquarter city: Edinburgh, Scotland
Year formed: 1696
The Bank of Scotland is the fifth-oldest surviving bank in the UK and the oldest Scottish bank, and was primarily set up to support Scottish trade with England and continental Europe. It now has more than 290 branches across the UK, as well as its vans which operate as mobile branches, that serve more remote communities, including the highlands and Scottish islands. Over the years, Bank of Scotland has been an innovator; it was the first commercial bank in Europe to issue paper currency, and in 1985 it gave its customers banking via television and telephone. In May 2017, Bank of Scotland unveiled its design for a new polymer £10 note. Parent company Lloyd’s Banking Group was bailed out by the UK government in 2008 during the global banking crisis; the last of the public’s shares were sold in 2017 and the company is again in private ownership. Since 2015, Bank of Scotland has used Scottish actor and former Game of Thrones star James Cosmo in its advertising. Despite having no official connection with the Games of Thrones series, Bank of Scotland’s ads reflect the show’s styling; the idea being to build trust and show how Bank of Scotland can guide people through times of financial difficulty. The ad, which uses the tagline “Decisions well made”, features someone at a crossroads in their life, receiving advice from a spirit guide, Cosmo. In early 2017, the bank announced that its advertising in future would focus on innovation. Bank of Scotland’s “Helping Scotland Prosper” plan ties into its parent company Lloyd’s Banking Group’s larger “Helping Britain Prosper” plan. It aims to help to address social and economic challenges, such as Scotland’s housing shortage, the skills gaps in key industries, social mobility and social disadvantage. The brand also supports Mental Health UK. Lloyds is listed on the London Stock Exchange.