Celebrating Archives: RBS Archives

17 Jan, 2019

Celebrating Archives: RBS Archives

RBS archives are extensive and very useful for those researchers interested in family history, local history and banking history.  The record sets most of use to genealogists are as follows:

Staff registers and record cards

The content of surviving staff registers varies widely. Some give details of name, entrance exam mark, career path, and even information about marriage and children. Others give no more than a name and a list of transfer dates. In many cases, there will be no surviving register entry at all.

Staff registers are often organised by branch name and access to these records is restricted because they relate to the bank’s confidential relationships with its employees.

Staff magazines

Some banks’ staff magazines are indexed on the database, and it can be searched for your ancestor’s name. Staff magazines are often a good source of information about staff activities including promotions, retirements, weddings, sporting achievements and voluntary activities. Only a small proportion of staff ever appeared in their bank’s magazine, but if they did, the article may even be accompanied by a photograph.

 War memorials and records of war service

Many of the banks erected memorials in honour of members of staff who died in the two World Wars.  The website RBS Remembers includes biographical information about all 1,582 men from our banks who died in the First World War.

A Book or Remembrance recording the names of all the employees who died in the Second World War and Korean War is available here

Some banks also published rolls of honour – that is, lists of all staff who had served in the armed forces or who lost their lives during the two World Wars. The archive holds copies of these rolls.

Customer records

In general, customer records are not held in the archives. As an exception, however, there is account information relating to some 17th and 18th century customers of our oldest constituent banks. Please be aware that access to these records is restricted, because they relate to the bank’s confidential relationships with its customers.


The public searchroom in Edinburgh is open by appointment on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9.30am and 4.30pm. Email archives@rbs.co.uk if you would like to make an appointment, suggesting when you would like to visit. If you will be travelling a long distance we recommend that you make an appointment well in advance of your visit and before you arrange your travel.  Before your visit, they will ask for details of the records you wish to consult.


For more information: https://www.rbs.com/heritage/use-our-archives.html

Clare O'Grady