William Forbes and James Hunter were both apprenticed to John Coutts & Co. (which was established in the 1720s) in 1754. In January 1773 the name was changed to Sir W. Forbes, J. Hunter & Company, and the management of the bank devolved to Sir William Forbes, son of the founder and friend of Walter Scott, who died in 1828. In 1838, the company formed a 'junction' with the Glasgow Union Banking Company, eventually merging in 1843 with the (by then) Union Bank of Scotland. The head office of the Union Bank continued at Edinburgh until its merger with the Bank of Scotland in 1955.
The firm was a creditor of William Macdowall in the 1790s, and of an unnamed estate in St Thomas-in-the-East c. 1791.
It also mortgaged property (including enslaved people) on Tobago between 1773 and 1778.
http://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/about_us/company_heritage/BOS_Heritage/sir_william_forbes.asp accessed 12/12/2010
Caribbeana Vol.III p. 19; and ibid Vol. II 'Deeds relating to the West Indies' no. 86 p. 331.
National Library of Scotland, 'Legal documents relating to properties in the West Indies belonging to Alexander Ellice and his descendants' Ch. 12633-12707.