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The C&G headquarters in Barnwood
The C&G: A brief history
As the Cheltenham & Gloucester announce that all their high street branches will close in November 2009, we take a look at the heritage behind the bank and building society that spans over 150 years.
The Lloyds Banking Group have announced that it is closing all the Cheltenham & Gloucester high street branches and overhauling its loan and mortgage arms which will result in the loss of about 1,660 jobs.
The roots of the C&G can be traced back to 1850 and the Cheltenham & Gloucestershire Permanent Mutual Benefit Building and Investment Association.
Originally founded in Cheltenham, it gradually expanded through the early years of its life, opening its first Gloucester branch in 1896.
Ken Baldwin (73) from Churchdown has been a customer for almost five decades and was disappointed to hear the news of the branch closures.
"It came as a bit of a shock" says Ken,
"This has been a long established local building society. We celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary next year and it was the Cheltenham and Gloucester that gave us our first mortgage."
But Ken and his wife are not the only customers in the family...
"We've got a 93 year old mother who has an account here. We do her banking and put her money in and take it out.
"Neither our mother or us have a computer, so if it all goes online that's going to be a further problem to us.
"We've just got to wait and see what the outcome is - it may be that we have to look for another building society to transfer our money to."
The C&G continued to expand throughout the 1970's and 1980's, becoming a top 10 building society with the help of its then-groundbreaking Gold high interest account.
Following the 1986 Building Societies Act, C&G took advantage of the loosened rules to move into new areas of financial services away from its savings and loans business, buying up more small mutuals along the way.
Building societies also were given the right to convert full bank status - triggering a wave of demutualisations in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
C&G converted in 1995 and became part of Lloyds, just months before Lloyds bought the TSB group.
As well as maintaining its high street presence, it allowed the former society to open up a much broader distribution channel for its mortgages and savings accounts.
Bob Wardell, 68, from Staunton has been a customer for years and is already picturing what he believes to be the result of the branch closures:
"I think the C&G is going to be the same as the Woolwich was. When they shut the Woolwich I had to queue for hours in Barclays - now they're shutting the C&G I can see me queuing for hours in Lloyds. I'm disappointed."
There are currently twelve high street branches of the C&G across Gloucestershire employing up to 100 people.
Customers will be encouraged to use Lloyds, as they have been able to do since 2007, and for the vast majority of C&G branches there is a Lloyds bank within 400 metres.
Have you any archive film or photos of the C&G? Please do get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
last updated: 09/06/2009 at 13:50
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