The historic story and significance behind the Halifax bank that is set for closure

A historic bank that played a significant role in the rise of the Halifax bank is set to be closed.

By Ian Hirst
Friday, 25th March 2022, 10:15 am
Updated Friday, 25th March 2022, 10:16 am

Lloyds Banking Group has said it plans to shut 60 branches across the country, adding to recent closures as customers choose to sort their finances online.

One of the branches to close is the one on Commercial Street, Halifax, which was the original home of Halifax Building Society.

The branch will be permanantely closed on September 19 2022.

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The Halifax bank on Commercial Street

Here is a look back at the history of the band and the role the building played.

In December 1852, a small group of men gathered in the Old Cock Inn, Halifax. Their aim was to set up an investment and loan society, for the mutual benefit of local working people. Those with spare cash could invest it; others could then borrow, using the funds to acquire a house. Lenders would receive interest on their savings; borrowers would be charged it.

By Christmas that year, the Halifax Permanent Benefit Building Society was formally established.

Rules were drawn up, and a chairman, trustees and directors appointed. Office space was rented in the Old Market, and an announcement placed in the Halifax Guardian.

Within a year, the Society had 584 members, and a further 144 depositors.

Branch offices were opened at Sowerby Bridge, Thornton and Queenshead (Queensbury) in that first year. Others quickly followed, with one as far afield as Huddersfield by 1862.

The head office moved too, first to Waterhouse Street, and then to the corner of Crossley Street. Such was the Society's success that it was able to build grand new offices on Princess Street, moving there in 1873. This was to be home for the next 50 years.

Expansion continued apace with a new head office on Commercial Street in 1921, and a London office in 1924. Offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh were opened four years later.

The Commercial Street building was the HQ of the old Halifax Building Society from 1921 to 1973

The advent of computerisation in the 1960s heralded an era of rapid change and innovation. The business of the Halifax was transformed - accounts were handled electronically and filing systems automated. A state of the art head office was built at Trinity Road in 1973

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