HSBC Ilford branch celebrates 100 years
PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:30 14 February 2020
HSBC's Ilford branch is celebrating its 100th anniversary since it first opened for business at 126 High Road, where it still stands today.
The branch opened on February 9, 1920 and its branch manager was John Mears, who had previously worked at the bank's Aldersgate Street branch in London, and had been with the bank since 1901.
Mr Mears was supported by just two other colleagues, Percy Rowlinson, who had 12 years' experience and William Mutton, who joined the branch fresh from his bank training.
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Business grew slowly but steadily, supporting an increasing customer base, and by 1939 the branch employed a total of nine people.
With the onset of the Second World War halting the branch's growth, the then branch manager, Victor Jones, ensured the residents of Ilford could still access banking services during this difficult time.
Five men from the Ilford branch left to enlist into the army, with all returning safely to rejoin their colleagues when peacetime arrived.
Nazeer Bakhsh, manager of HSBC UK's Ilford branch, who has been at the branch almost five years, and with the bank for 12 years, said: "I am extremely proud to be leading the Ilford branch team at such a momentous time. Celebrating 100 years of the branch being open in this fantastic town has given us the opportunity to review some important historic events."