The Bank of Wales was founded by Sir Julian Hodge in 1971. The company provided commercial banking services to small and medium-sized businesses in Wales.
From the outset Sir Julian Hodge wanted the company to be called the Bank of Wales, but the compromise title Commercial Bank of Wales (Welsh: Banc Masnachol Cymru) was adopted following objections from the Registrar of Companies and the Bank of England, who claimed that the proposed name would imply a central bank. The company was eventually officially renamed Bank of Wales in December 1986. By the year 2000 it had seven regional offices and assets of over £460 million.
The Bank started its life on St Mary Street, but in 1989 moved to Kingsway in a brand new landmark building opposite Cardiff Castle, which later became inhabited by the Welsh Development Agency.