Punjab National Bank was founded in the year 1895 at Ganpat Rai Road, Lahore with the name of "Lahore National Bank" as an off-shoot of the Swadeshi Movement.
Among the founders were Sardar Dayal Singh Majithia, Lala HarKishen Lal, Lala Lalchand, Shri Kali Prosanna Roy, Shri E.C. Jessawala, Shri Prabhu Dayal, Bakshi Jaishi Ram, Lala Dholan Dass.
With a common missionary zeal they set about establishing a national bank; the first one with Indian capital — owned, managed and operated by the Indians for the benefit of the Indians. The Lion of Punjab, Lala Lajpat Rai, was actively associated with the management of the Bank in its formative years.
The Bank made steady progress right from its inception. It has shown resilience to tide over many a crisis. It withstood the crisis in banking industry of 1913 and the severe depression of the thirties.
It survived the most critical period in its history — the Partition of 1947 — when it was uprooted from its major area of operations. It was the farsightedness of the management that the registered office of the Bank was shifted from Lahore to Delhi in June 1947 — even before the announcement of the Partition.