Royal Bank of Scotland

The Royal Bank of Scotland was founded by Royal Charter on 31 May 1727.  The new bank opened for business in Ship Close, Edinburgh in December 1727 and some time later began issuing its own bank notes, a practice that continues today.  On the first anniversary of its foundation the bank invented the overdraft and its first branch out with Edinburgh was opened in Glasgow in 1783.

The present Royal Bank of Scotland was created through a series of mergers and acquisitions, including Drummonds Bank in 1924, Williams Deacon's Bank in 1930 and Glyn, Mills & Co in 1939.  Both Glyn, Mills and Williams Deacon's Bank continued in business as separate entities and, together with The Royal Bank of Scotland, traded as the Three Banks Group until 1970 when the two London clearing banks combined to form Williams & Glyn's Bank Ltd. In addition, in 1969, The Royal Bank of Scotland amalgamated with National Commercial Bank of Scotland.  Sixteen years later, in September 1985, the business of Williams & Glyn's Bank and The Royal Bank of Scotland were merged.

Today’s RBS and its brands are made up of hundreds of past banks. They were all different – large and small, city and country, traditional and innovative – and grew to serve the banking needs of unique communities all over the United Kingdom. Each one has left its mark on the bank’s identity today.

 Among them are:

  • Child & Co, the oldest name still trading in British banking, dating back to the 1640s.
  • Coutts, perhaps the most famous private bank of all, established in 1692
  • Drummonds, founded in about 1712.
  • Nat West is a much newer name, introduced in 1970, but it grew out of 300 years of banking by more than 200 separate businesses, established in towns and cities all over England and Wales.
  • Lombard, which traces its origins to a railway wagon leasing company established in Rotherham in 1861
  • Ulster Bank was established in Belfast in 1836, as a bank run by and for the benefit of Ulster people. Before long it expanded throughout Ireland.
  • Isle of Man Bank was the first company to be formed under the Isle of Man’s Companies Act of 1865. It has remained an important part of life on the island ever since.
  • Adam & Company was established in Edinburgh in 1983. It was the first new retail bank in Scotland since 1844, formed to provide Scottish-based banking and investment management services for wealthy clients. It was acquired by RBS in 1993.

Head Office: 36 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2YB