The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc History

42 St. Andrew Square
Edinburgh EH2 2YE
United Kingdom

Telephone: (0131) 556 8555
Fax: (0131) 556 8535

Public Company
Incorporated: 1727 as The Royal Bank of Scotland
Employees: 92,900
Total Assets: £306 billion (US$480 billion) (2000)
Stock Exchanges: London
Ticker Symbol: RBOS
NAIC: 522110 Commercial Banking; 522210 Credit Card Issuing; 522220 Sales Financing; 522291 Consumer Lending; 522292 Real Estate Credit; 523920 Portfolio Management; 524113 Direct Life Insurance Carriers; 524126 Direct Property and Casualty Insurance Carriers; 524210 Insurance Agencies and Brokerages; 551111 Offices of Bank Holding Companies

Company Perspectives:

We aim to be recognised as the best performing financial services group in the United Kingdom. In striving towards that aim we are mindful of the responsibilities to shareholders, customers, employees and the communities in which we operate. Achieving our aim while successfully balancing these responsibilities is the primary challenge. We believe that we can best respond to this challenge by remaining independent. Key Dates:

Key Dates:

Coutts & Company is organized.
The Royal Bank of Scotland is founded.
Commercial Bank of Scotland is established.
National Bank of Scotland is founded.
Manchester and Liverpool District Banking Company is founded.
National Provincial Bank of England is organized.
London and Westminster Bank is formed.
London and County Bank is established; Ulster Bank is founded.
Royal Bank acquires Dundee Banking.
Royal Bank expands into England for the first time.
London and Westminster merges with London and County to form London County and Westminster Bank.
London County acquires Ulster Bank.
National Provincial Bank merges with Union of London and Smiths Bank to form National Provincial and Union Bank of England; London County and Parr's Bank merge to form London County Westminster and Parr's Bank.
National Provincial and Union acquires Coutts & Company.
London County is renamed Westminster Bank Ltd.
Royal Bank acquires Drummonds Bank; Manchester and Liverpool District Banking is renamed District Bank; National Provincial and Union Bank is renamed National Provincial Bank.
Royal Bank makes two acquisitions: the Bank of England's West End Branch and Williams Deacon's Bank.
Royal Bank acquires Glyn, Mills & Co.; Royal Bank, Williams Deacon's, and Glyn, Mills comprise the Three Banks Group.
National Commercial Bank of Scotland is formed from the merger of the National Bank of Scotland and Commercial Bank of Scotland.
National Provincial Bank acquires District Bank.
National Provincial Bank, District Bank, and Westminster Bank announce that they will merge to form National Westminster Bank Plc (NatWest).
Royal Bank and National Commercial merge to form the new Royal Bank of Scotland; National and Commercial Banking Group is formed as a holding company for Royal Bank and its English concerns.
Glyn, Mills, Williams Deacon's, and National Bank are merged as Williams & Glyn's Bank; NatWest opens for business.
National and Commercial Banking Group is renamed the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc; NatWest gains U.S. presence with purchase of National Bank of North America.
Royal Bank Group establishes Direct Line; two group subsidiaries, Williams & Glyn's and Royal Bank of Scotland, are merged under the latter name.
NatWest's investment banking arm, County NatWest, underwrites a stock offering for an employment agency, leading to the Blue Arrow affair.
Royal Bank Group acquires Rhode Island-based Citizens Financial Group and enters into an alliance with Banco Santander of Spain. NatWest acquires First Jersey National Bank.
NatWest acquires New Jersey-based Ultra Bancorp, with U.S. holdings organized as National Westminster Bancorp.
NatWest Bancorp is sold to Fleet Financial Group.
Royal Bank acquires NatWest.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • Ashby, J.F., The Story of the Banks, London: Hutchinson & Company, 1934, 283 p.
  • 'The Blue Arrow Affair: The Buck Stops Where?,' Economist, March 7, 1992, pp. 23+.
  • Bray, Nicholas, 'NatWest Chooses a Cautious Offensive,' Wall Street Journal, February 28, 1992, p. A5A.
  • ------, 'Reorganized NatWest Picks Up Steam, Heads Uphill,' Wall Street Journal, December 15, 1994, p. B4.
  • Calian, Sara, 'Stodgy NatWest's Makeover Gets an Approving Nod from Investors,' Wall Street Journal, February 7, 1997, p. A14.
  • Checkland, S.G., Scottish Banking: A History, 1695-1973, Glasgow: Collins, 1973, 785 p.
  • 'County NatWest: Anatomy of a Cover-Up,' Economist, January 28, 1989, pp. 78+.
  • Gapper, John, 'Losing Lots of Layers,' Financial Times, June 8, 1993, p. 16.
  • Graham, George, 'The Awful History of Unhappy Banking Acquisitions in the United States,' Financial Times, December 20, 1995, p. 20.
  • ------, 'NatWest Bids Farewell to an Albatross: A Foray into the United States That Has Ended in a Costly Retreat,' Financial Times, December 23, 1995.
  • ------, 'NatWest Ponders Conundrum of Cash in Pocket,' Financial Times, February 15, 1996, p. 27.
  • ------, 'Strong Will Takes the Helm As Storms Threaten,' Financial Times, September 9, 1998, p. 28.
  • Graham, George, and Mark Nicholson, 'A Scottish Aggressor: Royal Bank's Chairman Has Fulfilled a Long-Held Ambition to Capture an English Rival,' Financial Times, February 12, 2000, p. 13.
  • Graham, George, and Nicholas Denton, 'Opportunity to Fulfil Ambition for Expansion: A Look at NatWest's Reasons for Buying Gartmore,' Financial Times, February 20, 1996, p. 19.
  • Gregory, T.E., The Westminster Bank Through a Century, Oxford University Press, 1936.
  • 'Growth in Mortgage Lending Helps Royal Bank Double to Pounds 201m,' Financial Times, May 12, 1994.
  • Hamilton, Kirstie, 'NatWest's Double Act Falls Out of Favour,' Management Today, October 1997, pp. 38--40, 43--44.
  • Healey, Edna, Coutts and Co., 1692-1992: The Portrait of a Private Bank, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1992, 488 p.
  • Leighton, J.A.S.L., Smiths the Bankers, 1658-1958, London: National Provincial Bank, 1958, 337 p.
  • 'Lord Boardman Banking on Discretion,' Director, January 1989, pp. 54+.
  • Maccoll, Fiona, The Key to Our Success: A Brief History of the NatWest Group, London: National Westminster Bank, 1996, 16 p.
  • Melcher, Richard A., 'How NatWest Plans to Stretch Its String of Successes,' Business Week, July 6, 1987, p. 46.
  • Munro, Neil, The History of the Royal Bank of Scotland, 1727-1927, Edinburgh: R. & R. Clark, 1928, 416 p.
  • 'NatWest and the Bank of England: An Apology,' Economist, January 23, 1993, p. 76.
  • 'NatWest Groupies,' Economist, December 16, 1995, p. 74.
  • Plender, John, 'Called to Account: Bank of Scotland's Opportunistic Bid for NatWest Highlights the Longstanding Weakness of the Larger Bank,' Financial Times, September 25, 1999, p. 11.
  • Portanger, Erik, 'NatWest Recommends Royal Bank Bid,' Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2000, p. A19.
  • ------, 'Royal Bank of Scotland Advisers Use Novel `Club' to Beat Rival in Fight for National Westminster,' Wall Street Journal, February 15, 2000, p. C20.
  • Portanger, Erik, and Anita Raghavan, 'Bidding Battle Brews for Britain's NatWest,' Wall Street Journal, September 27, 1999, p. A27.
  • ------, 'NatWest Plans $16 Billion Move into Insurance: Bank Is in Late Discussions to Buy Legal & General in Big Effort to Expand,' Wall Street Journal, September 3, 1999, p. A6.
  • 'The Puzzling International Approach of NatWest,' Euromoney, July 1981, pp. 141+.
  • 'RBS Doubles Profits and Weighs Purchase,' Independent, May 12, 1994.
  • Reed, Richard, National Westminster Bank: A Short History, London: National Westminster Bank, 1989.
  • Reed, Stanley, and Heidi Dawley, 'A Raid on the Staid,' Business Week, October 11, 1999, p. 60.
  • 'Royal Bank Expands in US with $140m Buy,' Financial Times, June 14, 1994.
  • 'Royal Bank Is Set to Expand IBOS System,' Herald, January 21, 1994.
    The Royal Bank of Scotland: A History, Edinburgh: Royal Bank of Scotland, 1997, 51 p.
    The Royal Bank of Scotland, 1727-1977, Edinburgh: Royal Bank of Scotland, 1977, 56 p.
  • 'Royal Takes Over Another US Bank,' Scotsman, July 6, 1994.
  • 'The Scottish Play,' Economist, October 2, 1999, pp. 79--80.
  • 'Where Diversity Helps Balance the Books,' Financial Times, May 11, 1994.
  • Willman, John, 'RBS Refocuses NatWest on Customer Service,' Financial Times, November 15, 2000, p. 34.
  • Withers, Hartley, National Provincial Bank, 1833 to 1933, London: Waterlow & Sons, 1933, 90 p.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 38. St. James Press, 2001.