Bradford is a city in England. National Westminster Bank traces its heritage there back to 1833.
Our first presence in Bradford
NatWest's Bradford branch was originally opened in 1833 as the independent Bradford Commercial Joint Stock Banking Co. Bradford at that time was undergoing a transformation, expanding from a rural town of around 4,500 inhabitants in 1780 to a thriving industrial centre with a population of 103,000 by 1851, many of whom worked in the area's large mechanised textiles mills.
Bradford Commercial Joint Stock Banking Co was one of many new joint stock banks founded in the 1830s in rapidly growing industrial towns. It began trading on 20 February 1833 in premises in Market Street which had previously been occupied successively by two other local banks.
In 1868 Bradford Commercial Bank, as it was generally known, moved into new premises on the corner of Bank Street and Hustlergate. These premises were erected in the French Gothic style to designs by the Bradford architects Andrews & Pepper. The new building boasted a banking hall with marble pillars and a corbelled vaulted ceiling divided into panels decorated with coats of arms.
Into the twentieth century
In 1897 Bradford was granted city status, and in 1904, when the city had a population of over 280,000, Bradford Commercial Bank was acquired by Bradford District Bank, which had begun trading in 1862 and had its head office in Market Street. The Hustlergate office was thereafter known as Bradford Commercial Bank branch of Bradford District Bank.
Following the First World War Bradford District Bank faced increasing competition, and in 1919 was acquired by National Provincial & Union Bank of England, which already had two branches in the city. In the years that followed Bradford’s wool industry suffered a rapid decline, but it still remained the town’s main source of employment until the Second World War. During the post-war years Bradford’s increasingly diverse economy boomed, the city centre was remodelled, and as a result of significant immigration Bradford became a multicultural city.
National Westminster Bank
In 1970 National Westminster Bank was formed by the merger of National Provincial Bank and Westminster Bank. The branch on Hustlergate became part of the new NatWest, as did all branches of both banks, including Westminster Bank’s principal Bradford office, located in Kirkgate (opened in 1874).
In 1994 the Hustlergate branch was renamed City Centre branch, and by 2001 this office had taken over the management of the bank’s other branches in the town.