London & Westminster Bank Ltd

London & Westminster Bank Ltd (1833-1909) was a past constituent of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Brief history

This joint stock bank, the first in London, opened in 1834 with a head office at 38 Throgmorton Street and a branch at 9 Waterloo Place. It had originally been promoted the previous year under the name Royal Bank of London & Westminster.

By 1838 the head office had moved to 41 Lothbury and the West End office to 1 St James’s Square. Branches were opened in Holborn, Whitechapel, Southwark and Marylebone in 1836. A further branch opened at Temple Bar in 1855.

In 1861 the bank acquired Commercial Bank of London, followed by London & Middlesex Bank in 1863 and the private bank Jones, Loyd & Co in 1864. In 1881 the bank had 8 branches, but thereafter the network expanded rapidly, with branches opened at Brompton Square (1881), Westminster (1884), Westbourne Grove (1886), Islington (1886), Holborn Circus (1887), Tottenham Court Road (1887), Hampstead (1890), Oxford Street (1890) and High Street, Kensington (1891). By 1905 the bank had 35 branches, mostly in central London. The bank also operated as London agent to various country and overseas banks.

Paid-up capital grew from £597,000 in 1836 to £2.8 million in 1881 and the balance sheet total from £366,000 in 1834 to £32 million in 1904. The bank assumed limited liability in 1880, thereby becoming London & Westminster Bank Ltd.

In 1909 the bank amalgamated with London & County Banking Co to form London County & Westminster Bank Ltd.

Branches: In 1909 37 branches were operating.

Published histories

  • TE Gregory, The Westminster Bank Through a Century (London: Oxford University Press, 1936)

Summary of our archive holdings

Our archival records of London & Westminster Bank Ltd have the reference code LWB.

For help understanding words used here, check our glossary of banking record types (PDF 24KB).

Corporate records

  • prospectus 1833
  • formation papers 1833-4
  • registers of shareholders 1833-75
  • directors’ correspondence incl. letterbooks 1833-98
  • directors’ meeting minute books 1833-1909
  • papers re London & Westminster Bank Bill 1834
  • shareholder circulars 1834-6
  • share transfer forms 1834-40
  • deeds of settlement 1834-97
  • share certificates 1834-1909
  • annual and half-yearly reports 1835-81
  • general meeting minute book 1835-1909
  • annual reports 1835-1919
  • private minute book 1836-86
  • unclaimed dividend warrants 1837-96
  • directors’ declaration of secrecy book 1845-1907
  • board daily committee minute books 1846-1910
  • volumes of bank investments 1846, 1871-1910
  • information book on first 13 years 1847
  • solicitors' report books 1860-86
  • secretary's memorandum book 1861-1911
  • share allotment papers 1867-83
  • book re failed firms 1875
  • delegated authorities 1875-86
  • discount committee minute books 1875-1911
  • progress statistics 1882-4
  • memorandum and articles of association 1897
  • loan committee minutes 1899-1905
  • register of directors 1901-7
  • minute book of the colonial and other loans committee 1905-(1915)
  • directors private notebook 1907-9
  • directors’ private notebook 1907-13
  • general meeting proceedings 1907-19
  • amalgamation papers 1909

Financial records

  • general ledgers 1834-1909
  • statistics: bills discounted 1837, 1845-8, account numbers 1845-8, 1871-1909
  • statement of net profits 1840-8
  • cash books 1890-1903
  • daily clearing ledger 1892-1906
  • securities register 1893-1909

Customer records

  • ledger re Coutts & Co’s account 1833-4
  • promissory note 1834
  • unpaid bills 1834-42
  • agreements and papers re other banks, including agency work 1834-59
  • customer correspondence 1834-38, 1882-1909
  • registers of country accounts 1841-80
  • signature books: 1815-96, 1841-61
  • cheques and cheque books 1838, 1864-94, 1890
  • letters of credit 1849-52, 1908-9
  • bills of exchange 1855-8, 1860s
  • powers of attorney 1859-69
  • list of customer balances transferred from Commercial Bank of London 1861
  • forms of guarantee ledgers 1866-78
  • memoranda of securities deposited 1874-1900
  • circular notes c.1880s, 1907-9
  • book re deeds deposited against advances 1890-1911

Head office branch records

  • circulars: head office 1862-71, 1891, to branches 1836-1909, re staff 1879-91

Staff records

  • list of staff surety bonds 1834-65
  • registers of officers 1834-1902
  • staff offices book 1834-1904
  • appointments books: 1834-55, tellers and juniors 1875-1906
  • staff registers: 1834-1909, country office c.1860-1902
  • staff list 1836
  • directors’ portraits 1830s-n.d.
  • widows’ and orphans’ fund: ledger 1840-(1915), account book 1896-1911, letterbook 1898-1911, minute book 1895-1911, rules 1896
  • register of pensioners 1857-1903
  • letterbook re staff promotions 1864-9
  • officers’ guarantee fund premiums book 1865-74 and ledgers 1865-1914
  • officers’ agreements book 1865-1909
  • set of works by James Gilbart 1865-6
  • staff rule booklets 1867-1909
  • declarations of secrecy book 1874-1907
  • register of officers’ life policies 1875-1909
  • sports club photographs 1891-1906
  • reports of the staff cricket club 1896-8
  • sports club annual reports 1896-1909
  • photographs 1900-1
  • provident fund investments ledger 1903-(1915)
  • signature book 1909
  • terms and conditions of employment c.1922

Property records

  • property insurance policies 1836-91
  • architects’ tenders re Lothbury premises 1837
  • premises engravings 1851-60s
  • house accounts 1860
  • establishment committee minute books 1872-1909
  • inventory of furniture 1884
  • premises account book 1886-1909
  • branch photographs 1896-1920s
  • rents book re bank’s tenants 1896-1909
  • architectural drawing 1897
  • contracts book 1902-3

Marketing records

  • presscuttings 1835-1909
  • presscuttings guardbook 1836-96
  • 20th anniversary dinner menu 1854
  • advertisement 1857
  • booklet re custodian trustee services c.1907

Branch records

  • selected records