Our history - fast facts

This page focusses on headline events in the history of The Royal Bank of Scotland itself. You may prefer to read a broader overview which encompasses our other constituent businesses including NatWest, or detailed information about each of our historical constituent banks.

Detail from the founding charter of The Royal Bank of Scotland, 1727

1727 King George I approves a royal charter establishing The Royal Bank of Scotland

1728 The Royal Bank of Scotland grants the world’s first overdraft

Glasgow street scene, 1834

1783 First branch outside Edinburgh opens in Glasgow

1836 Beginnings of a wider branch network in Scotland: 6 new branches open

View from Admiralty Arch along the Mall, London, 1920s

1874 First branch outside Scotland opens in the City of London

1924 Drummonds Bank, London, is The Royal Bank of Scotland’s first acquisition outside Scotland

Williams Deacon's Bank branch, early 20th century

1930 Acquisition of Williams Deacon's Bank, with its network of branches in north west England

1939 Acquisition of the London merchant bank Glyn, Mills & Co

Mobile bank, 1950s

1946 National Bank of Scotland launches our first mobile bank, serving rural communities on the Isle of Lewis

1960 First overseas representative office opens in New York

Branch interior with daisy wheel window, 1970s

1969 The daisy wheel brand is introduced, following the merger of The Royal Bank of Scotland and National Commercial Bank of Scotland

1970 The bank's three main brands trading in England and Wales combine to form Williams & Glyn's Bank. From 1985 they trade as The Royal Bank of Scotland

1988 Acquisition of Citizens Financial Group establishes a major RBS presence in the US

A customer using the bank's digital banking service, 1990s

1997 The Royal Bank of Scotland launches Britain’s first comprehensive internet banking service

2000 Acquisition of NatWest Bank, creates the third largest banking group in the UK

Advertising poster for NHM, forerunner of ABN AMRO

2007 RBS is part of the consortium that acquires Dutch bank ABN AMRO

2008 UK government takes part-ownership of RBS

RBS banking app, 2011

2011 RBS launches the world's first fully functional smartphone banking app