Totton is a town in England. NatWest traces its heritage there back to 1914.
Union of London & Smiths Bank
NatWest’s Totton branch originally opened in 1914 as a branch of Union of London & Smiths Bank. This bank had been established in London in 1839 as Union Bank of London, and in 1902 had amalgamated with the London bank Smith, Payne & Smiths and its country connections to form Union of London & Smiths Bank. The merged bank, which in 1903 had 51 branches, prioritised a strategy of expansion and went on to open more than 100 branches over the following 12 years.
In the early years of the 20th century Totton was a busy village with a population of over 4,000 by 1914, and was identified by Union of London & Smiths Bank as an ideal location for a new branch. Rented premises were obtained and the bank’s Totton agency began trading in June 1914, under the management of E Bullious Moody.
Just two months later Britain was at war, and before long its profound effects were being felt in the village, as elsewhere throughout the land. Banks were affected by staff shortages and onerous new responsibilities and controls.
National Provincial Bank
During the early 20th century banks also faced increasing competition and many were forced to grow in order to compete. In 1918 Union of London & Smiths Bank merged with National Provincial Bank of England to form one of the emerging ‘Big Five’ high street banks, later known as National Provincial Bank.
The 1920s depression brought further difficult times and in 1926 National Provincial Bank decided to close its Totton agency. Thereafter the bank’s services were provided locally from its nearby Shirley branch.
A new beginning
After the Second World War the population of Totton began to increase as prosperity returned to the country. In order to serve the growing community there, National Provincial Bank re-opened its Totton agency on 29 March 1954, trading daily from premises at 41 Commercial Road under the management of Southampton branch. The business prospered, and the agency became a full branch in December 1961. In May 1968 the branch moved to larger premises at 43 Commercial Road, a unit in the newly-built shopping precinct.