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Mikhail Liebenstein

Lloyd's To Close Halifax Branches

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More than a third of the Halifax branch network faces closure by its owner Lloyds in one of the biggest bank culls in history.

The move, which immediately sparked bitter criticism, would wipe out 550 small branches and 'agency counters' inside the offices of estate agents, solicitors and financial consultants.

It would cause huge job losses and intensify fears that the historic Halifax name may disappear completely.

Altogether, the Halifax, once Britain's biggest building society, has about 1,300 branches.

Details of Project Tulip - the name given to the closure plan - were leaked to The Mail on Sunday by an executive angered by its secrecy and the impact it will have on communities.

Yet more misery in financial services, and to boot it looks like this will cause further pain for estate agents as "agency counters" are removed from offices - presumably Halifax paid a fee or rent to the the agents for the desk.

Now the interesting bit is that there is clearly a huge reduction in the number of staff across the economy who are marketing, promoting or otherwise ramping house prices. What happens to product sales and prices if you cut the marketing budget?

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