Chester, Wrexham & North Wales Savings Bank
Chester Savings Bank was one of the first to be established in England and Wales. It was set up in 1817, in response to local demand. People wanted an institution that would help and encourage the poor to save.
As was often the case, the trustees consisted of prominent members of the local community. They included both an earl and a bishop. The Savings Bank proved extremely popular, and, within a year, nearly 1,000 accounts had been opened.
The Bank’s first home was in the Exchange, in Northgate Street. By the middle of the 19th century, business had grown to the extent that the Bank needed its own self-contained offices. It moved to purpose-built premises in Grosvenor Street, in 1853.
The Bank continued to expand over the next few decades. By the end of the century, it had attracted more than 4,000 depositors. In 1899, in response to the increased demand, the Bank decided to open daily. Prior to this, its business hours had been restricted to just a few hours each week.
An Act of Parliament was passed in 1904 that allowed savings banks to merge with one another. Chester Savings Bank seized this opportunity, amalgamating with Wrexham Savings Bank in 1906. At that point, Wrexham had been on the brink of collapse. The newly-formed Chester & Wrexham Savings Bank went on to absorb five others before the outbreak of the First World War.
A Larger TSB Group
As with many savings banks, Chester’s business grew during the War. It benefitted greatly from the Government’s drive to promote savings. The Bank established more branches during the interwar period. Then, after the Second World War, it changed its name to the Chester, Wrexham & North Wales Savings Bank. This reflected its wider geographical reach.
With the passing of the TSB Act of 1976, and the resultant restructure, Chester became part of TSB of Wales & Border Counties.