1911: From Lloyds to Hollywood

Lloyds Bank (formerly Cox & Co.) branch, Calcutta, c.1920

Lloyds Bank (formerly Cox & Co.) branch, Calcutta, c.1920

Estelle Merle Thompson, later known as actress Merle Oberon, was born on 18 February 1911 in Bombay. She worked for Lloyds Bank during the late 1920s as a telephone operator in its Calcutta branch.

Lloyds Bank had gained a presence in India in 1923 when it took over Cox & Co., an army agency bank. Cox & Co. traces its origins back to 1758 when Richard Cox was appointed regimental agent to the First Foot guards. This role extended beyond the payment of officers and men to the provision of supplies and the marketing of commissions; inevitably Cox & Co became involved in providing banking services to army officers.

Merle later went on to star in numerous films including The Private Life of Henry VIII, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Dark Angel and Wuthering Heights. She died in 1979.

Find out more about the history of Cox & Co.

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