Greenwich

Greenwich is a district in London. NatWest traces its heritage there back to 1838.

Surrey, Kent & Sussex Banking Co

NatWest’s Greenwich branch first opened in 1838 as an office of Surrey, Kent & Sussex Banking Co. Founded two years earlier, this bank had immediately set about establishing a network of branches in London and the south-east. Greenwich, which was then growing rapidly, was chosen as an ideal location for a new branch.

In May 1838 the bank took a lease of premises at 18 Nelson Road, which it adapted for banking use. The branch opened there on 4 June 1838, trading daily under the management of FH Halpen.

In 1839, the year after Greenwich branch opened, Surrey, Kent & Sussex Banking Co was renamed the London & County Banking Co, reflecting its plans for wider geographical expansion.

Into the twentieth century

By the early twentieth century Greenwich branch had moved just around the corner to 2 Greenwich Church Street, where it remains today.

In the early decades of the century, banks faced increasing competition and were forced to grow in order to compete. In 1909 London & County Banking Co merged with London & Westminster Bank to form London County & Westminster Bank.

During the First World War London County & Westminster Bank, like other banks, was affected by staff shortages and controls on lending. Two members of staff from Greenwich branch were killed on active service.

In 1918 London County & Westminster Bank merged with Parr’s Bank to form London County Westminster & Parr’s Bank, known simply as Westminster Bank from 1923.

During the Second World War banks faced similar difficulties to those experienced in 1914-18. Early in 1945 Greenwich branch was severely damaged in an air raid, and for some years afterwards operated from temporary premises at 41 Deptford Broadway. By 1948, however, the Greenwich Church Street premises had been repaired and were ready for business again.

National Westminster Bank

In 1970 Westminster Bank merged with National Provincial Bank and its subsidiary District Bank to form National Westminster Bank, and Greenwich became one of 3,600 branches of the new NatWest.