Strathaven is a town in Scotland. The Royal Bank of Scotland traces its heritage there back to 1857.

The Royal Bank of Scotland

The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Strathaven branch first opened on 5 December 1857. This move was prompted by the sudden failure of Western Bank of Scotland which, at the time of its collapse in November 1857, had 101 branches throughout Scotland, including one in Strathaven. Despite the bank’s broader problems, many of these local offices had been trading successfully, and the Royal Bank was pleased to take over Western Bank’s business in towns such as Strathaven. It appointed Robert Wilson, who had been Western Bank’s Strathaven manager, to continue at the branch, and took over the Western Bank’s premises in Common Green, where the branch still trades today.

Into the 20th century

In the later 19th century Strathaven’s handloom weaving industry declined and mills using power looms were established in the town, enabling the production of more goods at cheaper prices. The branch continued to trade successfully, adapting to these changing industrial circumstances. More difficult times came in the first half of the 20th century, as wartime presented new challenges and responsibilities. Men from Strathaven branch left to take up posts in the armed services, and in consequence Strathaven branch’s first female clerk was appointed in May 1918.

The post-war era

The decades after the end of the Second World War brought a series of mergers and amalgamations which reduced the number of note-issuing banks in Scotland from 8 in 1945 to just 3 by 1973. In 1969 the Royal Bank of Scotland merged with National Commercial Bank of Scotland to create a single bank that had 693 branches across the country. Two of those branches were located close together on Common Green, Strathaven. The second branch, at number 18, had originally been opened by Commercial Bank of Scotland in 1924. In 1969 these two branches were merged into the original Western Bank premises at 36 Common Green.