is an article by an independent author and jml
Insurance takes no responsibility for its accuracy or content
has happened to Mike Blackburn's Halifax? Philip
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 recalls some of his memories from working for Yorkshire based building societies
who later became banks.
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
was running the residential letting office for a firm
of agents with offices in south Bucks, west Middlesex and east Berks - Frank
Farr & Sons and the agents were sold to the Leeds Permanent Building Society
(Left Property Leeds UK Ltd logo) Like
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.
Leeds Permanent was run by Chief Executive Mike Blackburn who had previously worked
for Lloyds Bank. I remember meeting him and hearing him speak at a couple of staff
meetings and he was most impressive character and leader.
In 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.
as a "merger", the Leeds name was soon phased out with new name being "the
Halifax". I still have one of the commemorative pens that were given out to
staff. Although the box bears both names, the pen itself just says "Halifax".
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 I
1997 under Mike Blackburn's leadership, the society converted to a Plc. Mike Blackburn
retired from the Halifax the following year.
In 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
appears to have gone well till 2008, they have retained the estate agency division
although much smaller than in the mid 1990's, unlike most of the other former
building societies and banks who have pulled out over the past few years as they
have been able to sell their mortgage and insurance products without the costs
of running estate agents.
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.
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.
Suter is a Director of jml Property Services; http://www.jmlproperty.co.uk
a UK based company offering Insurance products on line at http://www.jml-insurance.co.uk
and a holiday home advertising service and management training within the UK.
He is a very experienced property consultant with over 30 years work in the Residential
letting business in the UK and served on the National Council of ARLA. He is a
Fellow of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and a Member of The
association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA)
information supplied on this page is by a third party and jml Property Services
do not take any responsibility to its accuracy ©Philip Suter of jmlpropertyservices
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