Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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National Bank

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13 Old Broad Street, London, EC.

1835 The bank was formed as the National Bank of Ireland as a joint-stock bank to provide capital for Irish economic development and to serve the needs of small traders and tenant farmers, as well as those of the gentry. The bank’s London agents were Barnett, Hoares and Co, of Lombard Street.

Lamie Murray, manager of the bank, modelled the organisation on Thomas Joplin's Provincial Bank of Ireland - a joint-stock bank with branches operating as subsidiary companies, the shares being held partly by the parent bank and partly by local people.

By the end of 1835 the bank had opened 11 branches and 18 sub-branches

1845 the Irish Banking Act ended the Bank of Ireland's monopoly in and around Dublin, and a chief office of the National Bank in Ireland was immediately opened at 34 and 35 College Green, Dublin.

1847 the National Bank of Ireland also absorbed the London and Dublin Bank of Dublin.

1854 the bank opened its first branch in England at 13 Old Broad Street, where the board had met since 1839.

1856, the bank's name was changed from National Bank of Ireland to The National Bank Ltd

By 1888, The National Bank was the eighth largest British bank in terms of capital; only four other banks had more branches in London. This growth was sustained with over 60 further branches opened between 1888 and 1922.

Post-WWI the bank formed an Irish board to manage the larger Irish side of the business. But the bank's problems were compounded by the general economic recession of the 1920s and 1930s and the Second World War.

1966 the bank's business in Ireland was transferred to a new company, National Bank of Ireland, and sold to the Bank of Ireland. The 36 English and Welsh branches passed to the National Commercial Bank of Scotland, although The National Bank continued to operate its branch network independently until 1970, when the branches became part of the new Williams & Glyn's Bank.

1970 As a result of the merger of The Royal Bank of Scotland and National Commercial Bank of Scotland, the two banks’ subsidiaries outside Scotland – namely Williams Deacon's Bank and Glyn, Mills and Co and the National Bank merged to create Williams & Glyn’s Bank.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] RBS Heritage