Yorkshire BS cashes in on consumer nostalgia for branch-based passbook accounts

Yorkshire BS cashes in on consumer nostalgia for branch-based passbook accounts

Yorkshire Building Society is trumpeting the success of its new savings account which, despite bucking the digital trend in favour of a traditional passbook and branch-based approach, has proved a huge hit with customers.

The society's Triple Access Saver account - which cannot be accessed online - has been its most popular savings account since it was launched a year ago this week in response to customer calls for a more traditional, non-digital offering.

Although Yorkshire is not saying how many have actually signed up, the number of accounts opened in the past 12 months is almost three times that of any of its other savings options across any channel.

Explaining the popularity of the account, the Society cites its own research, which finds that more than three in five customers prefer the traditional branch network as their main method of managing their savings, most frequently citing customer service and convenience as the reasons for this choice.

More than half the Yorkshire's customers prefer to use a passbook to keep track of transactions on their account and almost 70% favour a branch-based account with a competitive variable rate.

Mike Helliwell, manager, savings products, Yorkshire, says: "This time last year there was some scepticism in the media about whether - in the age of Internet banking - savers really wanted a simple, traditional passbook account. The fact that Triple Access Saver has been our most popular savings account since its launch speaks for itself".

Branch banking has been in decline in the UK as customers turn to the convenience of the Web and, recently, the nascent mobile channel. However, there have been signs of a revival of old-fashioned options led by the branch-centred Metro Bank, which this week raised £126 million to expand its network, and joined recently by Marks & Spencer.

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