Tuesday, 22 July 2014
The Abbey National on the corner of Market Place and Hamnett Street in 1999.
The antecedents of the Abbey National are the National Permanent Mutual Benefit Building Society established in 1849 and the Abbey Road & St. John's Wood Permanent Benefit Building Society, founded in 1874, based in a Baptist church on Abbey Road in Kilburn. In 1932 the society moved into new headquarters, Abbey House, at 219–229 Baker Street, London, which it occupied until 2002. The site was thought to include 221B Baker Street, the fictional home of Sherlock Holmes and for many years Abbey employed a secretary charged with answering mail sent to Holmes at that address. The two soicieties merged in 1944 to form the Abbey National Building Society.
1n 1989 it became the first of the UK building societies to demutualise, and become a public limited company. In 2003 it rebranded itself as simply the Abbey. In November 2004 it become part of the Santander Group.
Santander had also acquired Bradford & Bingley's retail branches and savings business in September 2008.
In January 2010, Abbey and the branch network of Bradford & Bingley were rebranded as Santander and for the next four years both branches continued to operate at the opposite ends of the Market Place.
In 2014 the former Bradford & Bingley branch was closed down and its business merged with the former Abbey branch which is now the sole Santander branch in town.
See how this same scene looks in July 2014 on Hyde Daily Photo.