Banking business

The First World War called upon banks to support customers, staff and the national war effort amid unprecedented circumstances.

August 1914 - the longest bank holiday

The threat of war threw money markets into turmoil and led to Britain's longest-ever bank holiday.

Supporting government borrowing, 1914-18

Banks took an active role in helping the government to finance the First World War through borrowing initiatives.

Gold, banknotes and money supply

Gold was needed to help fund the First World War effort, so had to be replaced in the everyday economy. 

Helping the war effort, 1914-18

Many banks and bankers volunteered time, expertise and facilities to support the war effort.

Supporting customers in uniform

Customers serving in the military during the First World War needed special support from their banks.

Supporting business customers

The demands of trading in wartime brought new challenges for banks’ business customers.

Government controls on banking

The government relied on banks to exert influence over the financial affairs of the population.