Halifax (Irish bank)

Halifax (Irish bank)

company_name = Bank of Scotland (Ireland) Limited (trading as Halifax)
company_type = Private
company_slogan = "Always giving you extra" (Halifax brand)
foundation = (1933, as ICC Bank)
location = flagicon|IRE Dublin, Ireland
key_people = Mark Duffy, CEO
num_employees = 600 (2004)
parent = HBOS
products = Various banking products aimed at the business and retail sector
homepage = [http://www.bankofscotland.ie/ www.bankofscotland.ie/]
[http://www.halifax.ie www.halifax.ie/]

Bank of Scotland (Ireland)—now more widely known under the trading name of its retail division, Halifax—is a bank based in the Republic of Ireland, a subsidiary of the Bank of Scotland, which in turn is a part of the HBOS Group.


Until January 2006, the company did not have a widespread high street retail banking operation, but instead specialised in business and corporate banking. It also operates a direct mortgages sales business.

On 11 January 2006, however, the company opened its first three high street retail branches, in Ballyfermot, Dún Laoghaire, and Limerick, with 46 branches to open over the next fourteen months. This put it in direct competition with Permanent TSB as well as National Irish Bank, the smallest of the traditional "Big Four" (which has 59 branches). The banks open longer hours than most high street banks, and became the first Republic of Ireland bank to open on Saturday as standard. On 25 August 2006 the bank announced that its retail branches would be rebranded Halifax.

Halifax now claims to offer the best rates in Ireland on regular savings and certain types of mortgage loans.


The company was founded in 1965 as Equity Bank Limited. In the early 1990s, it was purchased by the Bank of Scotland. Later, the parent company established its own brand in the Irish market through the direct sales of mortgages from Edinburgh. Following this, it was decided to rebrand the existing Irish operation as Bank of Scotland (Ireland) in 2000.

In 2001, the bank purchased ICC Bank plc from the Irish State. This company, originally established as the "Industrial Credit Company", and later known as "Industrial Credit Corporation plc", was set up in 1933 by Seán Lemass in the Irish Free State to encourage investment in industry. The company was modelled on the Agricultural Credit Corporation (now called ACCBank).

In 2004, the company took over the direct mortgage sales business from its parent company, and moved it to Dublin. Major new offices were also opened in a brand new building in Limerick, named "Bank of Scotland House" (formerly the site of the Carlton Cinema).

In 2005, the company announced that it was taking over the Electricity Supply Board's ShopElectric chain of retail outlets, and turn them into high street banks. This will make the company the fourth-largest bank in the Republic of Ireland, with 46 branches. The company detailed its retail banking plans on 10 January 2006, with the first three branches to open the following day, as well as a call centre in Dundalk, County Louth. On 25 August 2006, the bank announced that it would adopt a two-brand strategy, rebranding as Halifax for its retail business and retaining the Bank of Scotland name for its industrial/commercial customers.

On 27 November 2006 the bank officially rebranded its retail operations as "Halifax" from "Bank of Scotland", though the registered company name remained unchanged.

On 2007-04-18, Halifax announced that it would launch a personal current account on 2007-05-21, paying 10% interest on credit balances up to 2000 to customers lodging €1500 or more per month. [http://www.halifax.ie/index.jsp?pID=94&nID=314] It claims that customers switching from Bank of Ireland or AIB could save a total of €160m per year. The announcement was widely covered in newspapers. On 2007-04-24, the bank further announced that it is the first bank in the Republic of Ireland that would be offering a Visa Debit card rather than the Laser debit card issued by other Irish banks which has restricted usability outside Ireland.

ee also

* List of Irish companies

External links

* [http://www.bankofscotland.ie Bank of Scotland (Ireland)]
* [http://www.halifax.ie Halifax Ireland]
* [http://www.rte.ie/business/2006/0825/bosi.html RTE: Bank of Scotland (Ireland) to become Halifax]

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