Preston

Preston is a town in England. NatWest traces its heritage there back to 1833.

Lancaster Banking Company

NatWest's first branch in Preston originally opened as a branch of Lancaster Banking Company in 1833. This bank had set up an office at Chorley in 1828, but had found business there slow to develop, so in 1833 it moved the branch to Preston.

Preston had traditionally been a small market town and in the 18th century was known for its popularity with well-to-do residents. During the industrial revolution, however, it grew rapidly thanks to enormous expansion in the local cotton industry. By the middle of the 19th century Preston was dominated by over 60 cotton mills, employing more than half of the town’s population.

Preston branch originally traded from a rented building on the north side of Fishergate, and later moved across the road to a more convenient location on the corner of Winckley Street. By 1856 the branch's growing business prompted the bank to purchase the site of the present branch at 35 Fishergate, where new purpose-built bank premises, designed by local architect JH Parke, were erected the following year.

A period of amalgamations

The early decades of the 20th century were notable for a number of large bank amalgamations. In 1907 Lancaster Banking Co - including its Preston branch - was acquired by Manchester & Liverpool District Banking Co, later known as District Bank.

In 1962 District Bank was acquired by National Provincial Bank, but the two banks continued trading separately under their respective names. In Preston, there was a branch of each bank located on Fishergate, because National Provincial had opened an office of its own there in 1944.

National Westminster Bank

In 1970 National Provincial Bank and its subsidiary District Bank merged with Westminster Bank to form National Westminster Bank.

In 1989 the businesses of NatWest's two Fishergate branches were brought together under one roof, initially at 1 Fishergate while the long-standing premises at number 35 underwent major rebuilding. Two years later Preston Fishergate branch returned to its former address at 35 Fishergate, where it remains today.