Halifax is a banking chain in the UK and a division of Lloyds Banking Group. It is the UK’s largest provider of residential mortgages and savings accounts.
The Halifax was formed in 1853 as the Halifax Permanent Benefit Building and Investment Society. The purpose of the society was for the mutual benefit of local working people. Investors with surplus cash would invest in the society to receive interest, and borrowers could access loans to fund the purchase of a house.
The society grew, opening branches throughout the UK. The first office in London opened in 1924, and the first offices in Scotland in 1928.
In 1928 the company merged with Halifax Equitable Building Society, then the second largest building society, and was renamed Halifax Building Society. HBS was five times larger than its nearest rival with assets of £47 million. HBS continued to grow in size throughout the 20th century, remaining the largest building society in the UK.
HBS merged with Leeds Permanent Building Society and became a plc in 1997. In 2001 a further merger took place, with the Bank of Scotland. The new group was named Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS). In 2009 HBOS was acquired by Lloyds Banking Group and became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Group.