Group Archives

Group Archives

search

This major joint stock bank was founded in 1862, and began operations on 1 July 1863; head office was at 12 Regent Street. The bank's original strategy was to link London with modest account holders in the main towns of the South West. By December 1863, the bank had opened 12 provincial branches (mainly in Devon and Cornwall) but was forced to close 8 of these within the first decade, decided to turn its attention instead to the more profitable and rapidly expanding London suburbs, which had hitherto been largely ignored by the other banks. In 1887 the London and South Western acquired the goodwill of the failed West London Commercial Bank. Meanwhile head office had been moved twice: to 29 Lombard Street in 1865 and to 7 Fenchurch Street in 1871. In 1888, the bank built a new head office on the north side of Fenchurch Street, and by the end of the century the London and South Western had become one of the leading joint stock banks. In 1912, to coincide with the bank's golden jubilee, head office was again rebuilt and extended to occupy the corner plot with Gracechurch Street. At the end of 1917, partly because of difficult wartime conditions, the London and South Western amalgamated with one of its formidable rivals, the London and Provincial Bank, to form the London, Provincial and South Western, this becoming effective on 1 January 1918. By this time the London and South Western had over 200 branches and deposits of £38m. The resulting combined company only had a short life, however, as it was in turn acquired by Barclays Bank Ltd on 2 October 1918. The grand former London and South Western head office building, with its sumptuous Edwardian interiors, ideally situated opposite Barclays' head office which occupied the corner of Gracechurch and Lombard Streets, was used to house Barclays' Chief Foreign branch and City Office.

Material available at Group Archives:

  • board and committee minutes
  • shareholders' registers and minutes
  • inspection and general manager's minutes
  • records of foreign business
  • correspondence
  • loans ledger 1870s
  • premises records
  • staff registers and photographs
  • branch records
  • amalgamation papers
  • jubilee history 1912