Eastleigh

Eastleigh is a town in England. NatWest traces its heritage there back to 1908.

Union of London & Smiths Bank

NatWest's Eastleigh branch originally opened in 1908 as a branch of Union of London & Smiths Bank. This bank was rapidly expanding its presence throughout the country in the first years of twentieth century, and by 1908 had a network of 175 offices.

Eastleigh's rapid growth in the same period soon caught the bank's attention. It had established an office in nearby Southampton in 1905, so was well-placed for further growth in the region. It opened its new Eastleigh agency in December 1908, trading daily from rented premises at 55-57 Market Street. The timing was auspicious, because shortly afterwards London & South Western Railway relocated its locomotive works to the town, bringing further employment to the area.

Such was the success of the branch that its premises soon proved too small to serve the growing business. In 1913 work began on the present purpose-built branch building on the corner of Leigh Road and Southampton Road, which also incorporated shop premises for letting.

National Provincial Bank

Despite its continued rapid expansion, operating over 230 offices by 1918, Union Bank faced increasing competition. As a result, it merged in that year with National Provincial Bank of England. Eastleigh became an independent branch of the bank in 1920, and an agency of the branch was opened at Chandler’s Ford.

National Westminster Bank

In 1970 National Provincial Bank merged with Westminster Bank to form National Westminster Bank, and Eastleigh became one of 3,600 branches of the new NatWest. In 1973 a sub-branch to Eastleigh was opened in Botley Road, Fair Oak. During the following decade the Eastleigh branch premises were further enlarged along Leigh Road and Southampton Road.