Research by the Bank of England uncovered that the Threadneedle St institution owned 599 slaves in the late 18th century.
A new exhibition – titled Slavery & the Bank – outlines how the names of slaves were found in an inventory from 1788.
After a debtor defaulted in the 1770s, they handed over two plantations in Grenada to the Bank, research conducted on behalf of the Bank found.
The Telegraph newspaper quoted the Bank as stating: “We cannot retrace the lives of those enslaved […] but it is important to reflect on how the wealth they created shaped the development of Britain.”
After a couple of decades, the estates were sold to an MP, James Baillie, for today’s equivalent of £15m.
In 2020, the Bank apologised for former governors’ connections to the slave trade after research from the University College of London listed 11 former governors and 16 directors as connected.
At the time, the Bank said it would take down portraits of those named and apologised for its role. However, it said the institution was “never itself directly involved.”