3 Fun Facts About Royal Bank of Scotland plc

I’m sure dedicated shareholders of Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS) (NYSE: RBS.US) will know all about the bank’s financials, prospects and valuation.

But large, established companies such as RBS often come with many interesting stories from years gone by. I’ve trawled the Internet and discovered these fun facts you probably never knew about the FTSE 100 member:

Granting the world’s first overdraft

RBS was established during 1727 and it didn’t take long before the bank hit upon the idea of the overdraft. In fact, within a year, the bank had granted the world’s very first facility for a ‘cash credit’, as it was then known, to an Edinburgh merchant named William Hog.

RBS today claims it grants overdrafts worth £35m every day for its small-business customers.

Marriage guidance

Back in 1932, one subsidiary of RBS issued a new rule that required male employees to seek the bank’s approval before getting married. 

To cut a long staff memorandum short, if you earned less than £210 a year (or £260 in London), you had to get down on one knee to your boss and as well as your would-be wife.

It generally meant clerks had to work for about 12 years before the bank thought they earned enough to support a family. The regulation was finally dropped in 1945.

Back in the day, female staff were required to resign before marrying.

Piggy piggy banks

Young savers during the 1980s should still remember Woody, Maxwell, Annabel, Lady Hilary and Sir Nathaniel — the five ceramic ‘piggy’ piggy banks given out to children saving though NatWest’s Piggy Bank Account. 

After the account launched in 1983, an amazing one million pigs had been issued by 1985.

Saving £3 would have got you the baby pig and £100 was required for the largest. All five pigs can be acquired on eBay today for about £50.

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> Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article.