Hundred-year-old HSBC Romford celebrates its anniversary in Market Place
PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 February 2020
A bank has celebrated its 100th birthday.
HSBC Romford opened on February 5, 1920, originally as the Midland Bank, where it still stands today in the Market Place.
With the onset of the Second World War halting the branch's growth, the then branch manager, Lion Warnes, ensured that the residents of Romford could still access banking services during this extremely difficult time, including recruiting two additional staff members.
Eight employees from the branch left to enlist in the armed forces, with all returning safely to rejoin their colleagues after the war ended.
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With so many men across the bank's network leaving to join the war effort, employing female staff soon became commonplace and by the end of the war, cashiers were almost exclusively female. They were also doing work normally done by men, such as securities, foreign work and overseeing the safes and strongrooms.
Current manager Dean Carpenter, who has been at the branch since January 2019 but with HSBC for 30 years, said: "I am extremely proud to be leading the 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.
"We have also had time to appreciate how our branch has adapted to rapidly changing consumer habits and technology over the years.
"While today, the majority of our banking is done with a click of a button, where customers can keep a very close eye on their finances wherever they are in the world, they are still able to discuss our mortgage and savings options here in the branch. We are very proud to be part of a branch which has been at the centre of change in banking in the 21st century."
Employees at the branch toasted with a special cake in the shape of a history book, with pictures of when it opened in 1920 and the bank today.