Throughout our long history, customers have always expected the highest possible service. So even when the country has been through challenging circumstances, our customers have still been able to do their banking. During both World Wars, Lloyds Bank stayed open in the most difficult conditions.
Thirty-two branches were completely destroyed in WW2 air raids, and hundreds more were damaged. With the threat of bombing came the possibility of major economic disruption. The loss of bank records would have left people without access to their own money, prevented payments for goods and wages, and halted production. It’s why Lloyds Bank introduced a duplicating system that ensured copies of every balance and every transaction had to be safely stored on a daily basis.
In a pre-computer age, when bank records were either hand written or hand-typed, this meant copying everything out twice – once for the branch and once to be sent to a designated partner branch far away from the bombing threat. When the bombs did hit, it proved possible to reconstruct every customer’s account within two working days.
Convenience is something we’ve all come to expect. Today, we take cash machines across the UK for granted. But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, if you wanted ten pounds 250 years ago, you could ask for a handwritten banknote personally signed by Sampson Lloyd II. So to help our customers get hold of their money 24/7, we introduced the world’s first Cashpoint® at our Brentwood branch on 11 December 1972.
Even though there had been cash machines in the past, this was a brand new invention. Previous dispensers had required the purchase of vouchers beforehand.
The Lloyds Bank Cashpoint® was the first on-line machine, where the amount withdrawn would be debited from the account immediately – similar to today’s ATMs. Initially, machines were inside the branch, but were later installed outside.
Sir Laurence Olivier had a long and celebrated career as actor, director and producer. But even he had to start somewhere and Lloyds Bank can lay a small claim in helping him on the path to success. After leaving the Birmingham repertory company, he was offered the chance to star in 'Murder on the Second Floor' in New York at a salary of $500 per week.
Being overdrawn, he pleaded with the manager of Lloyds Bank’s Winslow branch, Mr Anderson, for £100 to enable him to get 'an outfit etc'. This was agreed and in August 1929, Laurence wrote to Mr Anderson thanking him for his kindness. This letter, and a typed copy of his contract for the play, is held in our archive collections.
While there have been milestones in the financial world, Lloyds Bank has helped support some of the most inspirational events in recent history. The London 2012 Olympics was one such event. Our ambition for the 2012 Games was to help spread the Olympic spirit right across the UK – to bring the inspiration of the Olympic flame to customers, colleagues, communities, branches and schools.
We were the only UK company to sponsor the Olympic Torch Relay. During its 70 day journey, the Torch travelled within a 10 mile journey of 95% of the UK population. Branches opened all hours to welcome the tens of millions of customers and members of the public the length and breadth of Britain. From Land’s End to the Olympic Park, 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers were rewarded with the once in a lifetime opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame. And 15 million people lined the streets to witness this unique and very special event.
Beyond the £100 million credit facility provided to the London Olympic Games Organising Committee, Lloyds Bank was able to support over a third of Games contractors. From the moment Danny Boyle unveiled his extraordinary opening spectacle, the Games generated an unprecedented outpouring of community spirit.
We’re all used to travelling abroad. Customers can use their debit and credit cards all over the world – enjoying the same security and convenience as the UK. But the world wasn’t always quite so accessible. In fact, the very first Travellers Cheques (or circular notes as they were called then) were issued in 1772 by Robert Herries & Co., which later became part of Lloyds Bank.
From the outset, Lloyds Bank has helped businesses both small and large. A few you might recognise include Cadbury, who we supported as they built their Bournville Village, Raleigh and their world-famous bikes in Nottingham, and Innocent who we helped to expand their smoothie empire in 2004.
Over the years, some of Britain’s greatest names have banked with us. The 1st Duke of Wellington, Winston Churchill, as well as literary giants including Thomas Hardy, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and T.S. Eliot (who also worked at Lloyds Bank for eight years).
Even in fiction, we’ve looked after some well-known names. Not only was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle a customer of Capital & Counties, but Holmes banked there too. And Watson banked at Cox and Company. Both banks were later absorbed by Lloyds Bank (but the dastardly Moriarty banked abroad).
Today, banking is all about convenience. But in the early days, banknotes could be redeemed for gold coins. These were then weighed on scales and moved with a brass coin shovel. Customers these days don’t even need cash. They can pay, and do almost all of their banking, with the simple tap of a screen.
Lloyds Bank plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 119278. Authorisation can be checked on the Financial Services Register at www.fca.org.uk. Eligible deposits with us are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). We are covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
Lloyds Bank plc registered office:
25 Gresham Street,
Registered in England and Wales No. 2065.
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