The History of the Halifax Bank

Updated April 17, 2017

Halifax Bank was founded in 1853 as a building society to attract investors and allow working people to obtain loans usually for homes. It grew rapidly and by 1913 became the largest building society in the United Kingdom, opening offices in London in 1924 and in Scotland four years later. Now a subsidiary of the partly-nationalised Lloyds Banking Group, it is part of the HBOS Group.


Formally known as the Halifax Permanent Benefit Building and Investment Society, the bank merged in 1928 with the Halifax Equitable Building Society.


A diamond-shaped headquarters building was completed in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in 1973 and features a fireproof basement to protect deeds and records.

New Services

Deregulation in the 1980s allowed Halifax to offer credit cards and other services previously offered only by commercial institutions.

Further Expansion

The bank expanded its reach in 1996 by acquiring the life insurance company Clerical Medical Fund Managers.

Online banking

The bank solidified its online and telephone banking services when it created its Intelligent Finance Internet system in 2000.


Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) reported in 2008 a £10.8 billion loss through bad loans and overextending itself in borrowing.

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About the Author

Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East. He served stints as a newspaper and magazine editor in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wagner attended California State University, Los Angeles, and has a degree in journalism.