Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: August 22, 2019
Webpage updated: August 22, 2019




On Wednesday July 29th 1908 Farrow's Bank Limited, "The People's Bank", opened a branch at 54-55 Bedford Street on the corner with Old Town Street.

Founded by  Mr Thomas Farrow (1862-1934), in 1907, the Bank was noted for treating its depositors very generously by giving 2% interest on current accounts with a balance of 10 and over, and 5% on deposit accounts.  It even opened a branch in Knightsbridge, London, 'managed by women for women'.  During the Great War they sent out "Motor Banks" touring the country to collect subscriptions for War Bonds.

Unfortunately Mr Farrow and his partner, Mr William Walter Crotch, had been engaged in some creative accounting which was eventually uncovered when an American gentleman by the name of Mr Read, of Messrs Norton Read and Company, of New York, opened negotiations to  acquire a controlling interest in the Bank.  He did succeed and became managing director but then sent an assistant, Mr Riche, to examine the books.  He quickly discovered the inaccuracies in them and on December 20th 1920 the Bank stopped business.  Messrs Farrow and Crotch were arrested and went before Mr Justice Grier at the Central Criminal Court in London on June 6th 1921.

The Plymouth Branch did reopened on Tuesday February 8th 1921 and the Official Receiver, Mr A N F Goodman, assisted by Bank staff, paid depositors and customer an interim dividend of two shillings in the pound.

Mr John R Randall FAI auctioned the fixtures and fittings from the Bank at the Bank at 11am on Thursday August 11th 1921.  There were few bidders and most items sold for only a small amount.  The items on offer included a 19 feet mahogany counter, fitted   with three desks and drawers; a James Dix safe measuring 4 feet by 2 feet 4 inches by 2 feet, fitted with two drawers; coin scales and weights; desks, stools, chairs and tables; two clocks; letter weights, date stamps, and cash bowls; an oak hat and umbrella stand; and a Zygad duplicator.