Source: Yorkshire Building Society
Yorkshire Building Society Group has announced proposals to make changes to its branch network, product range and one of its brands which are designed to deliver better long-term value to its 3.3m customers.
The proposals would enable the mutual to increase focus on one high street brand and continue to invest in its core mortgages and savings businesses, making its services as easy and simple as possible for customers.
The Yorkshire aims to close 20 Yorkshire Building Society branches in May and 28 Norwich & Peterborough (N&P) branches from September this year. It would maintain a high street network of 260 branches and agencies across the UK, with Yorkshire Building Society as the sole high street brand.
The Society plans to close its N&P current accounts to existing customers, and withdraw the N&P brand from the high street over the next year.
The Society will work with affected customers and will contact them to outline what these proposals mean for their specific circumstances.
Mike Regnier, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Building Society, said:
As a mutual, it is important that we always act in the best long-term interests of our membership and evolve the business in line with their changing needs. We believe these proposals give us greater focus on providing existing and future members with the things they want from us most: a safe place for their savings and funding to buy their own home, and providing these in an easy and simple way.
We continually review all areas of the business to ensure we remain focused on what our members require while utilising their money as effectively as possible. This means we must sometimes make adjustments to the way the business operates.
We remain fully committed to providing the face-to-face service that many of our members value and are planning to maintain a strong and sustainable national branch network.
The driving forces behind the proposed branch closures are shifts in market conditions and an increasing desire among customers to transact digitally rather than on the high street. We therefore no longer believe it is the right commercial position for us to continue to maintain these 48 branches across the N&P and Yorkshire network.
The changing landscape of the current account market means continuing to provide this service and extend it to new customers would require a significant increase in our investment in this part of the business. Although we understand the proposal may be disappointing to current account customers, it follows thorough research and assessment. We believe the level of investment required would not represent good long-term value for the wider membership.
The Norwich & Peterborough brand has been part of Yorkshire Building Society since 2011, and inevitably, some of our colleagues and members will be disappointed by these proposals. The values of the N&P and Yorkshire brands are synonymous and we believe operating with Yorkshire Building Society as our sole high street brand would allow us to run the business more effectively and efficiently, enabling us to deliver better products and services for our members. These proposals would help us achieve that aim and further reinforce Yorkshire’s position as one of the most trusted financial services providers in the UK.