Former boss of the Halifax dies, aged 87

John Spalding
John Spalding

A MAN who rose to the top and ran the world’s biggest building society has died aged 87.

John Spalding joined Halifax Building Society in 1962 as assistant head office solicitor.

By 1985 he was a director and chief executive running the iconic financial brand long before the banking crisis.

During his tenure the Halifax was a huge financial beast and 20 per cent larger than its closest rival, the Abbey National.

But he was a man of wise words and in 1982, long before the integration of the society into main banking fields and rationalisation, he said: “There is always the possibility the situation will change.”

He was born in Manchester and joined the society after working in local government at Hampshire County Council.

In 1987 he was awarded the CBE in the New Year Honours for his achievements.

Mr Spalding had served on the Building Societies Association’s Legal Advisory Panel, the Council of the Building Societies Association and on the working party for the Future Constitution and Powers of Building Societies.

He was also involved with the National House Building Council.

During his time in Halifax he lived at Savile Park. He retired from the society in 1988 by which time he and his late wife, Mary, had moved to Cheshire.

The couple both enjoyed an interest in canal boats.

He leaves a daughter Sarah and son Simon and four grandchildren.

His funeral is on Thursday at St Nicholas’s Church, Remenham, near Henley-on-Thames, at noon.