Kendal

Kendal is a town in England. NatWest traces its heritage there back to 1864.

Lancaster Banking Co

NatWest’s Kendal branch was originally opened on 7 November 1864 by Lancaster Banking Co.This bank, established in Lancaster in 1826, was the first bank in England and Wales to be owned by a large number of small shareholders. From the outset it was looking for opportunities to grow. Starting a branch in Kendal, with its established market, growing tobacco and snuff industry and good railway connections, was a natural step for the company which had by the early 1860s established a number of branches in Lancashire and in places which are now in Cumbria.

In September 1864 an article appeared in the Kendal Mercury announcing that the directors of Lancaster Banking Co had decided to open a branch in town. This branch was to take over premises formerly used by another bank, John Wakefield & Sons, on Stricklandgate. The bank's directors found a suitable manager in Henry Fenton, who had previously worked at the local Bank of Westmoreland.

Although there were already two banks with branches in Kendal, Lancaster Banking Co’s branch on Stricklandgate thrived as Kendal grew. The town’s local industries went from strength to strength, and its position close to the Lake District made it popular with tourists from all over Britain and Europe.

District Bank

Despite Lancaster Banking Co's local success, at the start of the 20th century it became clear that it could not compete with the larger, national banks that had begun to emerge, and in 1907 the company was acquired by Manchester & Liverpool District Banking Co.

Increasing competition in the inter-war years prompted further amalgamations, and in 1935 District Bank, as it was by then known, merged with the Manchester-based County Bank.

The outbreak of the Second World War soon ushered in a period of shortages, with constraints on foreign exchange and lending. As men left to serve in the forces banks had to adapt. Nevertheless, in the post-war years Kendal’s growth continued. In 1962 District Bank was acquired by National Provincial Bank, but the two banks continued to operate separately.

National Westminster Bank

In 1970 District Bank and National Provincial Bank merged with Westminster Bank and Kendal branch began trading as an office of the new National Westminster Bank. In 1998 the branch relocated from 70 Stricklandgate to its current premises just around the corner at 10 Elephant Yard.