It was all a dream (I used to read Mortgage Solutions magazine)
Nine years ago, I was one of 72,000 Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBoS) employees who witnessed its infamous collapse from the inside on what can only be described as an absolute nightmare of a day!
I joined Halifax in 2002 at the age of nineteen, so to watch them go down the toilet within the space of a few hours was a pretty gut-wrenching experience.
HBoS crumbled by the close of business, resulting in immediate formation of the mighty Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) by way of government intervention and an initial £12 billion cash injection from UK taxpayers.
Many will remember the event as just another bank hitting the wall during the of the 2008 ‘credit crunch’, but for those who had any form of official association with the group, what transpired lives long in the memory.
In the years following the financial crisis, low-level, non-recession causing banking employees unfairly took a lot of stick; we even booked our Christmas parties under made-up company names for a couple of years to avoid possible scrutiny (seriously!)
But I continued with Halifax until late 2013, and then spent a couple of years at Santander before officially launching RateSwitch in February of this year.
The Times They Are a-Changin’
On Friday evening, we proudly attended the Wales Start-Up Awards in Cardiff, and were delighted to be recognised as one of the country’s ‘highly commended start-ups to watch’.
Anyone who has left full-time employment to start a business will openly tell you how hard the transition is, and that it’s important to celebrate your early successes.
Businesses win awards every night of the week, but this achievement means a great deal to us because mortgage companies like RateSwitch wouldn’t have even got into the building a few years ago.
Our first accolade is dedicated to our awesome team, the three wise men at Tech Hub Swansea we now call friends, Finance Wales, and my lovely wife Sarah, who has backed us all the way.
Onwards and upwards!
By Lee Flavin of RateSwitch (17th September 2017)