Brian O’Donovan of TV3 looks at the implications of the closure of Halifax Bank in Ireland for the nation.
I can’t help but think that if Bank of Scotland had stuck to the broker channel that they wouldn’t have been in the mess they are in now, and there wouldn’t be 40 odd branches of Halifax closing (they wouldn’t exist), in my mind it is an example of how a large bank got it terribly wrong and ultimately failed to understand their customers.
Their distribution customers were brokers, and via brokers their end customers were Irish consumers, in the end they have alienated both of the groups they set out to serve.
Halifax, who were the retail side of Bank of Scotland Ireland, came about as a follow on from an expansion in the Irish market that was introduced and lead by mortgage brokers. In 2006 it was decided that a greater presence was warranted and they began creating a street presence via branches.
Entering a competitive and mature market with a high-cost/low-margin retail proposition is bound to have its problems. Bank of Scotland mistook the market signals they got from broker lead expansion as a genuine appetite for …