has happened to Mike Blackburnís Halifax?
2nd October 2008
the UK most of the former building societies that converted
to banks, have been taken over. One such bank is HSBOS that
was formed partly from the growth of the Halifax under the
era of it's Chief Executive Mike Blackburn
the events within financial institutions in the UK in late
September 2008, Philip Suter of jml insurance looks back at
working for Yorkshire based building societies who later became
banks and what could happen to the HSBOS estate agency chain
in the future.
the early 1980's Banks, Building Societies and some insurance
companies started buying up estate agents throughout Britain.
The objective was to have a vehicle to sell their mortgage
products. Building societies took advantage of the 1986 Building
Societies Act which meant they could diversify their activities
into estate agency, share selling and off shore banking.
invested heavily in this, making a lot of estate agents very
wealthy overnight. In most cases they bought the trading name.
This would have been very well known in the local area, however
organisations like Prudential Insurance and the Halifax Building
Society thought customers would naturally use these estate
agents more if they took on the identity of the parent company.
Suter who now heads jml-insurance.co.uk
was running the residential letting office for a firm of agents
with offices in south Bucks, west Middlesex and east Berks
Farr and Sons and the agency was sold to the Leeds
Permanent Building Society.
other building societies the Leeds set up a limited company
to run it's estate agency arm. Their policy however was not
to remove the trading names they had purchased. Some of these
went back to the 1800s like Frank Farr and Gale and Power.
in 2008, because of the housing market and then negative equity
problems many more estate agents would have gone out of business
had they not had the building societies and banks behind them.
Leeds Permanent was run by Chief Executive Mike Blackburn
who had previously worked for Lloyds Bank and Philip
Suter remembers meeting him and hearing him speak at a
couple of staff meetings; he was most impressive character
and leader of the business.
1993 he moved to the Halifax Building Society as Chief executive.
years later in August 1995, under Mike Blackburn's leadership
the larger Yorkshire based Halifax
Building Society merged with the smaller Yorkshire based
Leeds Permanent Building Society.
portrayed as a "merger", the Leeds name was soon phased out
with new name being "the Halifax". It was like a typical marriage,
the groom retained the name, whilst the bride lost her one!.
Property Leeds UK Ltd became absorbed
into Halifax Estate Agents Ltd. Although some re-branding
in the estate agency names to Halifax took place, there are
still names within the Halifax
Estate Agency network that have retained their original
names including the firm Philip
1997 under Mike Blackburn's leadership, the society converted
to a Plc. Mike Blackburn retired from the Halifax
the following year.
2001 Halifax Plc merged with the Bank of Scotland
and became HBOS (Halifax Bank of Scotland) becoming the
fifth largest financial services company in the UK.
appears to have gone well till 2008, they have retained the
estate agency division although much smaller than in the mid
1990's and sold off the residential lettings business only
to start it up again a while later.
most of the other former building societies and banks who
have pulled out of the estate agency business the past few
years as they have been able to sell their mortgage and insurance
products without the costs of running estate agents, the HBOS
group has kept theirs.
in October 2008, it looks very likely HBOS will become part
of Lloyds TSB and they will naturally be looking at costs
and services and sell off Halifax Estate Agents as they sold
off their "Black Horse Agencies" and TSB Property Services
many years ago. This will be the closing chapter of the great
estate agency buyout from over twenty years ago.
have been a lot of changes in the financial industry in the
last twenty years or so and a lot more changes will happen
in the next.
Insurance.co.uk is part of jml
Property Services, the trading name of Jeffrey
Milner Ltd. The company is an UK based company that was
established in 1979. jml insurance acts as an introducer for
insurance companies selling property insurance including landlord
and tenant rental products, pet insurance, wedding insurance,
motor insurance, car hire excess insurance, travel insurance
and non standard insurance products. They also operate jmlvillas.com
an online marketing service for owners of holiday home property
to advertise and are part of the jml
Group that includes jml
Training and Consultancy.
jml Property Services October 2008
to jml insurance Press Releases
Industry Press Releases -2008
Industry Press Releases 2001 -2007
villas.com Press Releases
villas.com / euro-rentavilla.com Media Coverage
Training and Consultancy Press Releases