International Westminster Bank

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International Westminster Bank Ltd
Industry Banking
Financial services
Fate Merger with National Westminster Bank
Successor National Westminster Bank
Founded 1913
Defunct 1989
Headquarters 41 Threadneedle Street, London EC2
Products Commercial banking
Investment banking
Number of employees
900 (1980)
Parent National Westminster Bank

International Westminster Bank Ltd was a subsidiary of the National Westminster Bank and its predecessors from 1913 to 1989, with branches in London, France, Spain and West Germany. At the peak of its operations during the 1980s, the bank had a multi billion pound deposit base, principally through its London office, which administered the commercial loan and deposit book on behalf of National Westminster Bank's International Division. As such, it engaged in wholesale fixed term deposits with other banks, corporates and some individual private customers; it accepted short term and medium deposits (up to 12 months) against issuance of its own dollar and sterling denominated certificates of deposit (CDs); and it adminsistered commercial loans to corporate clients and sovereign governments.


The bank was formed in 1913. Its original name was London County & Westminster Bank (Paris) Ltd. Subsequently, it was to be renamed London County Westminster & Parr's Foreign Bank Ltd in 1920 and Westminster Foreign Bank Ltd in 1923, before assuming its final identity as International Westminster Bank Ltd in 1973.

In 1961 the bank was granted a limited deposit licence enabling it to start trading in the Eurodollar market. In 1979 its London deposit dealing desk was merged with the National Westminster Bank's foreign exchange dealing desk to form a combined trading operation named World Money Centre. This was located at 52-53 Threadneedle Street.[1]

The London Branch of International Westminster Bank, at 41 Threadneeedle Street, continued to handle the back office settlements for the World Money Centre. In 1982, much of the London Branch was relocated to NatWest's Drapers Gardens tower in nearby Throgmorton Avenue. The branch moved to its final location at the Kings Cross House tower block, 200 Pentonville Road, in the mid 1980s.

In 1980 National Westminster Bank acquired Global Bank AG; two years later, in 1982, International Westminster Bank's Frankfurt branch was merged with Global Bank, creating Deutsche Westminster Bank AG.

In 1988, International Westminster Bank's branches in France and Monaco were incorporated into National Westminster Bank SA.

By now, the only remaining branch was the London office. Due to changes in international bank taxation arrangements, its ongoing existence no longer offered any commercial advantage. In 1989, International Westminster Bank Ltd was merged with National Westminster Bank Plc by a Private Act of Parliament.[2]


International Westminster Bank's foreign currency deposit and loan trading floor at 52-53 Threadneedle Street, London in 1981.

The bank opened the following branches between its formation in 1913 and its closure in 1989:

  • London (1913)
  • Paris (1913)
  • Bordeaux (1917)
  • Lyons (1918)
  • Marseilles (1918)
  • Nantes (1919)
  • Madrid (1917)
  • Barcelona (1917)
  • Antwerp (1919)
  • Brussels (1919)
  • Bilbao (1919)
  • Valencia (1920)
  • Nice (1970)
  • Frankfurt (1972)


  1. ^ Article "World Money Centre", published in "Bankground", NatWest in-house magazine 1979
  2. ^ Royal Bank of Scotland archives,,_London,_1913-89