The Recent Years – Merger, Recession and Rebrand
- A report in November 1967 in the Hinckley Times states that six original bricks from the Society’s building in Castle Street, which were about 150 years old at the time, were sent to Australia following an unusual request from a Society in Sydney, for bricks that had been traditionally hand-made. A special plaque was to be placed in the foyer of the new Australian office, inscribed:
A reminder of the Australian Society’s link with England and a symbol of the enduring security of bricks and mortar.
- In March 1970 a new ‘administration block’ was officially opened on Upper Bond Street, Hinckley. This followed the closure of the old head office at 48 Castle Street and the opening of a new branch at number 37, which is still open to this day!
- In 1975 total assets reached almost £25m
- In 1979 the Society changed its name to Hinckley Building Society, with an annual report stating: The Society was established in Hinckley by Hinckley people in 1865 and the directors feel that the new name will truly reflect the image of the Society…
- There were further changes in March 1983 when the Society merged with Rugby Provident Building Society, thus changing its name to Hinckley & Rugby Building Society.
- In 1985, after 26 years’ service, Manager Eric Faulkner retired and was succeeded by Anthony Payne as General Manager and Secretary.
- The early 1990’s were a difficult time for building societies throughout the country. In 1991, the effects of the past decade’s inflation had resulted in a house price slump, with property prices decreasing by 30% or more; exacerbated by rising interest rates, which, for a while, reached over 15%. This rise resulted in thousands of properties being repossessed, which were then coming onto the market at depressed pricing, adding to the decline, and leading to a new phenomenon known as ‘negative equity’. Hinckley & Rugby was not immune to these problems, but ultimately came out of this period in better health than many other societies that were taken over and disappeared.
- In 1992 the Society had a new Chief Executive (previously known as General Manager), Barry Hunt, who took over the role following Anthony Payne’s retirement.
- 2000 – after the problem of the 90s, careful decision-making and new developments helped Hinckley & Rugby make rapid growth and become one of the most efficient of all regional building societies.
- In 2007, new Chief Executive Chris White took the helm, following the retirement of Barry Hunt after 15 years.
- In 2012, the Society began a major rebranding project – including a new logo, website, redesign of all literature and branch refurbishment programme, beginning with South Wigston branch.
- 2015 – The Society celebrates its 150th Anniversary.