Hawick

Hawick is a town in Scotland. The Royal Bank of Scotland traces its heritage there back to 1825.

Commercial Bank of Scotland

The Royal Bank of Scotland's earliest connection with Hawick is through a branch of Commercial Bank of Scotland, opened in June 1825. This office was originally located in Buccleuch Street, but moved to Tower Knowe in 1857.

National Bank of Scotland

A few years after the Commercial Bank branch opened, one of its rivals - later to become another constituent of The Royal Bank of Scotland - also opened in Hawick. National Bank of Scotland opened its Hawick branch in March 1833. This bank, which had been formed in 1825, had favoured from the outset a policy of branch expansion, and by 1833 already boasted a network of almost 30 offices across Scotland. Opening a branch in Hawick provided it with a valuable foothold in the Borders, with its thriving knitwear and tweed industries and a strong hosiery trade.

The first National Bank branch in Hawick closed after twelve years but on 28 April 1852 the office re-opened under the charge of Thomas Purdom. His appointment was the beginning of a long family association with Hawick branch. The new branch traded from premises at 46 High Street in offices formerly occupied by Thomas Purdom’s father. Ten years later the business was transferred to new, purpose-built premises at 31 and 33 High Street. The new branch went from strength to strength and, in 1860, appointed an assistant agent. In 1886 Robert Purdom was appointed agent of the branch following his father’s death earlier in the year. In 1897 he was joined in the business by his brother, Charles McLaren Purdom. After Robert retired in 1913 he was succeeded by his younger brother, John Ritchie Purdom, who was the last of the Purdom family to be connected with the bank.

Between 1956 and 1958 the branch was completely refurbished. When it reopened for business on 24 April 1958, the local newspaper reported enthusiastically ‘Bank goes all modern’.

The Royal Bank of Scotland

The Royal Bank of Scotland itself opened a branch in Hawick in April 1856, trading from premises in Buccleuch Street. The following year, the branch moved to new premises at 12 High Street, on the former site of the Harrow Inn and the Ordnance Inn.

Consolidation

In 1959 National Bank of Scotland and Commercial Bank of Scotland merged to form National Commercial Bank of Scotland. Just ten years later National Commercial itself merged with The Royal Bank of Scotland.

In Hawick, the bank now had three branches, one coming from each of the banks that had been merged. In May 1973 the branches at 12 and 31 High Street (the former Royal Bank and National Bank) were brought together under one roof at 31 High Street. In 1986 High Street branch was extended and refurbished, and also took on the business of Hawick Tower branch, the old Commercial Bank office.