Royal Bank of Scotland, commonly abbreviated as RBS, is one of the retail banking subsidiaries of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, together with NatWest and Ulster Bank. The Royal Bank of Scotland has around 700 branches, mainly in Scotland though there are branches in many towns and cities throughout England. The Equivalent Society became the Equivalent Company in 1724, and the new company wished to move into banking, the British government received the request favourably as the Old Bank, the Bank of Scotland, was suspected of having Jacobite sympathies. Accordingly, the New Bank was chartered in 1727 as the Royal Bank of Scotland, with Archibald Campbell, Lord Ilay, on 31 May 1728, the Royal Bank of Scotland invented the overdraft, which was later considered an innovation in modern banking. It allowed William Hogg, a merchant in the High Street of Edinburgh, competition between the Old and New Banks was fierce and centred on the issue of banknotes. The policy of the Royal Bank was to drive the Bank of Scotland out of business. The Royal Bank built up large holdings of the Bank of Scotlands notes, to pay these notes, the Bank of Scotland was forced to call in its loans and, in March 1728, to suspend payments. Despite talk of a merger with the Bank of Scotland, the Royal Bank did not possess the wherewithal to complete the deal. By September 1728, the Bank of Scotland was able to start redeeming its notes again, with interest, the bank opened its first branch office outside Edinburgh in 1783 when it opened one in Glasgow, in part of a drapers shop in the High Street. Further branches were opened in Dundee, Rothesay, Dalkeith, Greenock, Port Glasgow, in 1821, the bank moved from its original head office in Edinburghs Old Town to Dundas House, on St. Andrew Square in the New Town. The building as seen along George Street forms the end of the central vista in New Town. It was designed for Sir Lawrence Dundas by Sir William Chambers as a Palladian mansion, an axial banking hall behind the building, designed by John Dick Peddie, was added in 1857, it features a domed roof, painted blue internally, with gold star-shaped coffers. The banking hall continues in use as a branch of the bank, the rest of the nineteenth century saw the bank pursue mergers with other Scottish banks, chiefly as a response to failing institutions. The assets and liabilities of the Western Bank were acquired following its collapse in 1857, by 1910, the Royal Bank of Scotland had 158 branches and around 900 staff. In 1969, the merged with the National Commercial Bank of Scotland to become the largest clearing bank in Scotland. The first London branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland opened in 1874, an agreement was reached, under which English banks would not open branches in Scotland and Scottish banks would not open branches in England outside London. This agreement remained in place until the 1960s, although various cross-border acquisitions were permitted, the latter two were merged in 1970 to form Williams and Glyns Bank, but not rebranded as the Royal Bank of Scotland until 1985. Also in 2011, Royal Bank of Scotland prevented Basic Account holders from using the ATMs of most rival banks, in June 2012, computer problems prevented customers accessing accounts
Branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland in Islington, London.
A van of the RBS mobile banking service
A Royal Bank of Scotland £5 note from 1964
A £100 Royal Bank of Scotland note of the Ilay series