Bank of British Columbia

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Bank of British Columbia

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Canada’s Western Bank

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence



Centred in Canada’s Western provinces, the Bank of British Columbia operated between 1968 and 1986. Promoted by W.A.C. Bennett, the Bank of B.C. was first officially proposed for incorporation by Senator J.W. Farris in 1964. Royal Assent for incorporation was granted after the passing of Bill S-20 in December 1966, and a chartered licence to commence operations was established in October 1967.

After initial capital acquisition, common shares were posted for trading on the International Section of the Vancouver Stock Exchange (trading symbol “BBC”), February 1st, 1968. On July 16th, 1968, the Bank’s first branch was opened at 999 W. Pender in Vancouver. By 1986, shortly before its closure, the Bank had branches in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan as well as offices in London, England, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the Cayman Islands. The Bank is credited with having introduced several innovative programs later pursued by other institutions in Canada. With its main offices in Vancouver, B.C., it is also noted for being the only federally chartered bank headquartered in Western Canada at the time of its creation.

In November, 1986, the majority of the then failing Bank of B.C. was acquired by the Hong Kong Bank of Canada (now the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank of Canada). In April, 1987, the Bank of B.C. and its remaining assets were renamed B.C. Bancorp. Slated with the liquidation of remaining assets and the distribution of the proceeds to its shareholders, B.C. Bancorp ultimately conclude its affairs in 1996 through the acquisition of its shares by the Canadian Western Bank.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area


Control area

Authority record identifier


Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

MV-Dunbar 2015-07-23




BC Archives, Bank of British Columbia fonds, PR 2343.

Canadian Press (1987, April 9). Bank of B.C. investors could face wait of up to four years to get sale benefits. The Glove and Mail, p. B12.

Greene, Ronald (1987). The Bank of British Columbia. The Canadian Paper Money Journal, 23(3), 69-70.

Howlett, Karen (1989, August 17). B.C. bank has plans for payout. The Globe and Mail, p. B1.

Unknown Author (1996, May 31). Canadian Western Bank Offers to Buy B.C. Bancorp. Canadian Corporate News [Press release].

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