YBS Group announces proposed changes
Yorkshire Building Society Group has announced proposed changes to its high street network and office sites that are designed to improve value for its members by delivering better service and greater efficiency.
The Group is planning to increase the size of its national high street network over the next three years to ensure it has a more even spread of branches and agencies across the country.
The proposals would involve expanding its network into new towns and cities where there is customer demand but where the Group currently has no presence, at the same time as reducing the high street network in towns and cities where there is duplication or it is highly concentrated. This would involve up to 13 proposed branch closures.
It would expect to retain a presence in all its remaining towns and cities until at least 2020. Additionally, the Group is expecting to grow the overall number of high street outlets in the next three years by opening about 50 new agencies.
If the proposals go ahead, once the expansion programme is complete, the Group would have around 300 outlets across the UK.
The expansion would be met through working with local businesses to open agencies which provide the same standard of face-to-face service that its members receive from branches, but at a lower operating cost to the Group.
The Group believes the proposals would meet the demand for a high street service whilst ensuring members’ money is used in a more cost-effective way.
If the proposals go ahead, the Group is expecting to retain a presence in all its remaining branch locations until at least 2020.
Under the proposals, eight Yorkshire Building Society branded branches and up to five Norwich & Peterborough (N&P) branded branches would close. The remaining N&P branches would be rebranded to Yorkshire Building Society from May next year. At this time, N&P savings customers will transfer to the Yorkshire Building Society brand and the N&P brand will be retired from the high street.
The Group has also reviewed its office locations and has identified excess capacity in terms of supporting the products and services it provides members. It is therefore proposing a phased closure of its Charlton Kings site in Cheltenham over the next two years. Work currently done at this location would move to the Group’s offices in Bradford and Peterborough, with Cheltenham colleagues offered redeployment support.
Mike Regnier, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Building Society Group, said:
We are a strong and financially sustainable building society and members have trusted us with their money for more than 150 years.
Over that time, we have evolved from a small local mutual into a secure and reliable modern financial services provider serving more than 3.2m people right across the UK.
Face-to-face service will continue to play an important part of our offering to customers for many years, but we must continue to evolve if we are to remain relevant and competitive in today’s market.
The proposed changes to our high street outlets and office sites will enable us to deliver better overall value for members by operating in a more cost-effective way, with the savings we make being reinvested in the business.
If the proposals go ahead, our reformed high street network will complement our digital and telephony channels, enabling us to reach more customers and supporting them to do business with us in ways which are most convenient for them.
We believe these proposed changes are necessary for us to continue to grow and help more people to become homeowners and have a secure place for their savings.
Proposed branch closures in more detail
Under the proposals, eight Yorkshire Building Society branded branches and up to five Norwich & Peterborough (N&P) branded branches would close.
Should the proposals go ahead, the Yorkshire Building Society branches, along with N&P Hampton, would close in March.
The two dual location N&P branches proposed for closure would shut from May, with the remaining N&P branches rebranded to Yorkshire Building Society. At this time, N&P savings customers will transfer to the Yorkshire Building Society brand and the N&P brand will be retired from the high street.
We are currently reviewing all four outlets in Louth and St Ives to assess their suitability and expect to update customers and colleagues by February.
Dual locations – branch proposed to close
|Location||Proposed branch to close||Proposed branch to remain open|
|Norwich||N&P Building Society, Castle Mall||Yorkshire Building Society, Red Lion Street|
|Ipswich||N&P Building Society, Tavern St||Yorkshire Building Society, Tavern St|
Dual locations under review – could lead to branch or agency closing
|St Ives, Cambridgeshire||N&P Building Society, Sheep Market||Yorkshire Building Society, Market Road|
|Louth, Lincolnshire||N&P Building Society, Mercer Row||Yorkshire Building Society, Mercer Row|
Branches proposed to close
|Yorkshire Building Society|
|Main Street, Bingley||Huddersfield Road, Meltham, Huddersfield|
|Eastcheap, London (City)||Melbourne Street, Stalybridge|
|Northend Road, London (Fulham)||Princes Street, London (West End)|
|High Street, Knaresborough||Cliffe Court, Yeadon|
|Norwich & Peterborough Society|
|Serpentine Green Shopping Centre, Hampton, Peterborough|
N&P branches to be rebranded to Yorkshire Building Society*
|Market Place, Boston||Alexander Walk, Lincoln|
|Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds||London Road, Lowestoft|
|Church Street, Cromer||Cathedral Square, Peterborough|
|Market Place, Diss||High Street, St Neots|
|Market Place, Great Yarmouth||Market Place, Swaffham|
|New Conduit Street, Kings Lynn||Market Place, Wisbech|
* Would also include St Ives and Louth if the decision is made to keep those branches.