Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: January 22, 2019
Webpage updated: January 22, 2019




The Surrey, Kent & Sussex Banking Company was established at Southwark in 1836 and soon had branches in places like Croydon, Brighton, Maidstone and Woolwich.

It was renamed the London and County Banking Company in 1839.  Limited liability was acquired in 1866 and by 1875 it had over 150 branches, making it the largest British bank.

In August 1909 the Bank merged with the London and Westminster Bank, which had been established in 1834.  As a consequence, it was re-titled the London, County and Westminster Bank, the London and Westminster, which only had 37 branches, then being wound up.

A further merger with Parr's Bank Limited in 1918 brought another change of title, this time to the London County Westminster and Parr's Bank Limited.   In 1923, when a branch first appeared in Plymouth, at number 21 Bedford Street, this rather cumbersome title was shortened to the Westminster Bank Limited.

The Westminster Bank survived the Blitz and is pictured here in 1949.
City of Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery.

The Westminster had only the branch in Plymouth in 1935, when Mr John A Shearne was stated to be its manager.  Its telephone number was Plymouth 4549.  In spite of the fact that Bedford Street was flattened during the Second World War, the Westminster Bank survived until it had to be demolished to make way for Royal Parade. 

When the Bank of England closed its branch at Bank of England Place in Plymouth in 1949, the Westminster took over their premises but they had to terminate their tenancy on June 24th 1957.

A merger with the National Provincial Bank Limited was announced in 1968 but it did not take effect until January 1st 1970, when the National Westminster Bank came into existence.