Halifax Leads the Way in London

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Banks used to be straightforward things, places with counters, bank tellers behind glass and lines of people waiting to be served. Today however ‘retail’ banking has come out from behind the counter and walking into a bank is not the experience it once was.

At the sector’s cutting edge, things really are different and the flagship branch from UK bank Halifax shows just how much change is being wrought. Halifax was among the first, along with something similar from the Nationwide building society (with a design courtesy of Dalziel & Pow), to look for an alternative, putting outline house frames in its trial ‘branch’ in Manchester.

Now this has moved on and the 7,500 sq ft flagship at the junction of London’s Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street has two floors -80s arcade gaming kiosks around the perimeter, lots of comfy seating and a café on the first floor.

The café is worthy of especial mention for no better reason than that it looks a lot like an indy enterprise, has free wifi and cheap coffee of the kind that you normally pay a lot for in central London.

The pictures really do tell the story in this instance and they show just how far things have moved from old-style ‘retail’ banking.