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Westminster Bank
Westminster Bank
was a British retail bank which operated in England and Wales from 1834 until its merger into the National Westminster Bank in 1970; it continued to exist as a dormant registered non-trading company until 4 July 2017 when it was dissolved[1] Considered one of the Big Five, it expanded during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and took over a number of smaller banking companies.

Contents

1 History

1.1 London
London
and Westminster Bank 1.2 London
London
and County Bank 1.3 London
London
County and Westminster Bank 1.4 National Provincial Bank

2 See also 3 References 4 Bibliography 5 External links

History[edit] London
London
and Westminster Bank[edit] In 1834, the London
London
and Westminster Bank
Westminster Bank
was the first firm founded under the auspices of the Bank Charter Act 1833, which allowed joint-stock banks to be established in the capital.[2] For various reasons, the press, private banking concerns, and the Bank of England were so hostile to the Bank Charter Act that London
London
and Westminster's management was primarily concerned with defending the company's right to exist rather than setting up an extensive branch network. As a result, the bank opened only six London
London
branches in its first three years and no additional offices were established until nearly 20 years later. London
London
and Westminster made its first acquisition in 1847, when it bought Young & Son. In about 1870 it acquired Unity Joint-Stock Bank, and mergers with Commercial Bank of London
London
and Middlesex Bank had been arranged in 1861 and 1863 respectively. By 1909 London
London
and Westminster had opened or acquired 37 branches in and around London. Yet, despite this expansion effort, the bank felt the effects of competition from provincial banks like Lloyds and Midland. These two banks had already established large regional branch networks and were quickly encroaching upon the London
London
market. In order to meet this challenge, in 1909, London
London
and Westminster merged with the influential and prestigious London
London
and County Bank, which had seventy offices citywide and almost two hundred in rural counties. London
London
and County Bank[edit] The Surrey, Kent and Sussex Banking
Banking
Company had been established at Southwark
Southwark
in 1836 and soon had branches in places like Croydon, Brighton, Maidstone
Maidstone
and Woolwich. It was renamed the London
London
and County Banking
Banking
Co. in 1839. By 1875 it had over 150 branches and was the largest British bank. The resulting entity was named the London
London
County and Westminster Bank.[3] Prior to the merger, London
London
and County had already taken over the business of the following banks:

A cheque drawn on the Regent Street (Clifton) Branch of Westminster Bank, dated 14 August 1956.

Liverpool City Office, formerly Parr's Bank, designed by Richard Norman Shaw in 1900.

Date Acquisition Established

1839 Jeffreys & Hill, Chatham 1811

1841 Hopkins, Drewett & Co., Arundel 1827

1841 Hector, Lacy & Co., Petersfield 1808

1841 Ridge & Co., Chichester c.1783

1841 Halford, Baldock & Co., Canterbury c.1790

1841 Emmerson, Hodgson & Emmerson, Sandwich c.1800

1842 Davenport, Walker & Co., Oxford 1838

1843 Wilmshurst & Co., Cranbrook 1822

1844 T. & T. S. Chapman, Aylesbury 1837

1845 J. Stoveld & Co., Petworth 1806

1849 Trapp, Halfhead & Co., Bedford 1829

1851 Berkshire Union Banking
Banking
Co., Newbury 1841

1853 Eddy & Squire, Berkhamsted 1851

1859 Western Bank of London 1856

1860 Robert Davies & Co., Shoreditch 1841

1870 Nunn & Co., Manningtree 1810

1888 Vallance & Payne, Sittingbourne 1800

1891 Hove Banking
Banking
Co. Ltd. 1876

1907 Frederick Burt & Co., Cornhill (foreign bankers) 1872

London
London
County and Westminster Bank[edit]

The circular banking hall, Castle Street, Liverpool, a Grade II* listed building.

In 1913, the bank formed a subsidiary, London
London
County and Westminster Bank (Paris), which opened branches during and after World War I
World War I
in Bordeaux
Bordeaux
(1917), Lyon
Lyon
(1918), Marseilles
Marseilles
(1918) and Nantes
Nantes
(1919). The bank itself also directly established offices in Madrid
Madrid
(1917), Barcelona
Barcelona
(1917), Antwerp
Antwerp
(1919), Brussels
Brussels
(1919), Bilbao
Bilbao
(1919) and Valencia (1920). These operations were converted into a foreign bank in 1920 and renamed London
London
County Westminster and Parrs Foreign Bank, becoming Westminster Foreign Bank in 1923 and finally International Westminster Bank in 1973. All the Spanish branches were closed in 1923–4 due to deteriorating economic conditions in Spain
Spain
and discrimination against foreign banks. Control of the remaining branches was exercised from London, although between 1940 and 1944 contact with them was lost due to the German occupation.[4] Birkbeck Building and Freehold Land Society, formed in 1851, developed a large deposit-taking business that developed into banking activity.[5] Cheque books were issued from 1858 and by 1872 the business was trading under the title of Birkbeck Bank. In 1910, when its balance sheet totalled £12.26 million and it had 112,817 accounts, the bank experienced a run. Continuing rumours about its financial position and a climate of depreciation in gilt-edged securities, led to a suspension of payments. The Bank of England provided support for the immediate payment of 10 shillings in the pound to depositors, but as most of its deposits were held as long-term securities the bank lacked liquidity and went into receivership.[6] In 1911 its goodwill and premises were purchased from the receiver by London
London
County and Westminster Bank.[7] In 1917, bank officials decided to acquire the Ulster Bank
Ulster Bank
(which continued to operate separately), with 170 branches throughout Ireland,[8] and in 1918 bought Parr's Bank, with over 320 offices throughout England.[9] These purchases made London
London
County Westminster and Parrs (which became simply Westminster Bank
Westminster Bank
Limited in 1923) the fifth-largest bank in England. The Parr's name survives in the Bloomsbury, Parr's Branch of National Westminster Bank
National Westminster Bank
at 214 High Holborn, London, WC1. During the economic difficulties of the late 1920s and early 1930s, the bank kept tight centralised control over the continental branch of the business to avoid the dangers of too rapid an expansion in unfamiliar markets, but this policy stunted Westminster's international operations. It did mean that the bank escaped the bad debts and currency fluctuations that plagued many other banks between the world wars, allowing the domestic side of the business to grow steadily. The bank continued to expand through acquisition, namely:

Commemorative centenary stone, placed at Lothbury, London
London
in 1936.

Date Acquisition Established

1919 Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Banking
Banking
Co. Ltd. 1834

1921 Beckett & Co., Leeds
Leeds
and York 1774

1923 Stilwell & Sons, London 1774

1924 Guernsey Commercial Banking
Banking
Co. Ltd. 1835

Paid-up capital rose from £9 million in 1923 to £40.5 million in 1935. By 1939 there were 1,100 branches and at the time of the merger with National Provincial Bank
National Provincial Bank
in 1968, Westminster had 1,400 branches in England
England
alone.[10] The portcullis used by the bank was one of the familiar badges of King Henry VII and derived from the arms of the royal City of Westminster; the fess wavy, signifying the River Thames, derived from the arms of the County of London.[11] The present National Westminster Bank continues to use the portcullis in its common seal (the official seal kept in accordance with section 40 of the Companies Act).[12] National Provincial Bank[edit] The merger of Westminster and National Provincial Bank, announced in early 1968, shocked the British public and banking community. Although the Bank of England
Bank of England
had indicated a willingness to allow mergers as part of a rationalisation process, no one had seriously believed it would permit mergers among the largest and most influential banks. The District Bank
District Bank
(a 1962 National Provincial acquisition), National Provincial, and Westminster Bank
Westminster Bank
were fully integrated in the new firm's structure, while Coutts
Coutts
& Co. (a 1920 National Provincial acquisition), Ulster Bank
Ulster Bank
and the Isle of Man Bank
Isle of Man Bank
(a 1961 National Provincial acquisition) continued as separate operations. Duncan Stirling, chairman of Westminster Bank, became first chairman of the fifth largest bank in the world. In 1969 David Robarts, former chairman of National Provincial, assumed Stirling's position. The statutory process of integration was completed in 1969 and the new company, National Westminster Bank
National Westminster Bank
Limited, opened its doors for business on 1 January 1970.[13] NatWest, as it became known, is now part of The Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland
Group. See also[edit]

Westminster (typeface)

References[edit]

^ No. 13977, incorporated 4 April 1880 ^ London
London
and Westminster Bank
Westminster Bank
The Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland
Group, Past Constituents (retrieved 19 November 2007) ^ Westminster Bank
Westminster Bank
The Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland
Group, Past Constituents (retrieved 19 November 2007) ^ International Westminster Bank
International Westminster Bank
The Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland
Group, Archive Guide (retrieved 19 November 2007) ^ Jones, Rupert Sex, trickery, plundering funds ... scandals behind the safe, unsexy image The Guardian, 11 October 2008 ^ Run on British bank The New York
York
Times, 12 November 1910 ^ Birkbeck Bank The Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland
Group, Archive Guide (retrieved 19 November 2007) ^ A short history of Ulster Bank
Ulster Bank
The Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland
Group, 2005 ^ Parr's Bank
Parr's Bank
The Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland
Group, Past Constituents (retrieved 19 November 2007) ^ National Provincial Bank
National Provincial Bank
The Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland
Group, Past Constituents (retrieved 19 November 2007) ^ History of the Club Royal Bank of Scotland Bowls Club (retrieved 17 October 2014) ^ The Portcullis House of Commons Information Office, Factsheet G9 General Series, Revised August 2010 ^ A short history of National Westminster Bank
National Westminster Bank
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, 2005

Bibliography[edit]

Ashby, J. F. The Story of the Banks Hutchinson & Co., London, 1934 Gregory, T. E. The Westminster Bank
Westminster Bank
Through a Century Oxford University Press, 1936 Mottram, R. H. The Westminster Bank
Westminster Bank
1836–1936 Westminster Bank, London, 1936 Reed, Richard National Westminster Bank: A Short History National Westminster Bank, London, 1989

External links[edit]

Catalogue of the Westminster Bank
Westminster Bank
Guild archives, held at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick

Media related to Westminster Bank
Westminster Bank
at Wikimedia Commons

v t e

The Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland
Group

Retail banking

NatWest Holdings National Westminster Bank The Royal Bank of Scotland Ulster Bank Coutts
Coutts
& Co. Adam & Company Child & Co. Drummonds Bank Holt's Military Banking RBS International Isle of Man Bank Williams & Glyn

Investment banking

NatWest Markets RBS Securities

Consumer finance

Jamjarcars Lombard North Central

Board of directors

Sir Philip Hampton (Chairman) Ross McEwan (Group CEO) Sir Sandy Crombie Ewen Stevenson Alison Davis Penny Hughes Morten Friis Brendan Nelson Baroness Noakes Robert Gillespie Aileen Taylor

Former businesses

RBS

National Commercial Bank of Scotland National Bank of Scotland Commercial Bank of Scotland Williams & Glyn's Bank Williams Deacon's Bank Glyn, Mills & Co. A Ruffer & Sons Citizens Financial Group Tesco Personal Finance The One account Direct Line Group

NatWest

National Provincial Bank Westminster Bank District Bank Parr's Bank Smith's Bank International Westminster Bank Deutsche Westminster Bank Grindlays Bank National Westminster Bank
National Westminster Bank
USA National Westminster Bank
National Westminster Bank
of Canada Banco NatWest España Lloyds and National Provincial Foreign Bank Worldpay

Annual Group Revenue: £19.7 billion GBP (2013) Employees: 118,600 Stock Symbol: LSE: RBS We

.