Lloyds Bank (EUROPE)

Paris office of Lloyds Bank (Europe), c.1917


In 1911, Lloyds Bank began its overseas expansion with the purchase of French-based private bank, Armstrong & Co. The new company was named Lloyds Bank (France), and had branches in Paris and Le Havre.

Joint Ownership

Six years later, Lloyds went into partnership with the National Provincial Bank. This resulted in Lloyds Bank (France) being renamed Lloyds & National Provincial (Foreign) Bank. Each of the parent companies held a 50% stake. The new organisation was ‘a British bank, conducted on British lines’. As a result, its principal customers were UK companies and nationals who were operating on the Continent. The partnership proved highly successful; by 1938, the Bank had nine branches in France, two in Belgium and one in Switzerland. It had also established two offices in London.

Second World War

The banking hall of Le Havre office, c.1930
The banking hall of Le Havre office, c.1930

Its British connections enabled the Bank to survive the Second World War.  Many of its assets were rescued from occupied France and Belgium, and brought to the UK.  But some of the staff suffered greatly.  Those based at Lille and Roubaix endured appalling conditions as they travelled with other refugees to Boulogne. Once there, they boarded ships bound for England.  One member of staff was carrying valuable records and a large sum in trade bills.  Unfortunately he was captured, and spent the rest of the War in a prisoner of war camp.  He returned safely, however, and continued working for the Bank for many years.

Post-War Expansion

The connection with the National Provincial Bank ended in 1955, when Lloyds purchased its partner's 50% holding. In 1964, the company name was changed to Lloyds Bank (Europe).
The Bank expanded rapidly during the 1960s and '70s, aided by the development of the European Common Market. During this period its deposits grew from £41 million to £516 million.

Formation of Lloyds Bank International

In May 1971, Lloyds Bank (Europe) was merged with the Bank of London & South America, to form Bank of London & South America (BOLSA). In 1974, its name was changed to Lloyds Bank International (LBI). LBI was absorbed into the main business of Lloyds Bank in 1986.

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