Yorkshire Building Society announces proposed changes to branches
Yorkshire Building Society has announced proposed changes to its high street network that are designed to improve value for its members by delivering greater efficiency.
The Society is planning to reshape and rebalance its national branch network to ensure it is delivering good value to its membership as a whole.
This would involve reducing the high street network in areas where it is highly concentrated, with 12 branches, which all have other YBS branches or agencies between one and nine miles, proposed for closure in February.
The proposals would also involve discontinuing the Society’s face-to-face mortgage advice available in branches, which has been declining in popularity for the past five years. Just 5% of the Society’s mortgage applications were made through this channel at the start of this year.
Personal and convenient mortgage advice would continue to be available from fully-qualified mortgage advisors by telephone, which is an increasingly popular channel with customers.
The Society believes the proposals would enable customers to access high street services whilst ensuring members’ money is used in a more cost-effective way. Over the longer term, the Society would look to expand its network into new towns and cities where there is customer demand but where the Society currently has no presence.
Gary Fowler, Director of Retail Distribution at Yorkshire Building Society Group, said:
We are a strong and financially sustainable mutual which members have trusted with their money for more than 150 years. We have evolved in that time from a small local building society into a secure and reliable contemporary provider that exclusively focuses on mortgages and savings, serving more than 3m people across the UK.
The locations we have chosen have seen falls in transaction and customer levels for a number of years for savings and mortgages. In addition we are seeing lower footfall across branches and declining face-to-face mortgage applications, which now represent just 5% of all our customer mortgage applications. Like all businesses, to remain relevant and competitive in today’s market, we must continue to evolve.
The proposed changes 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.
Face-to-face service will continue to play an important part of what we offer. We will still have more outlets than the vast majority of high street financial services providers for a business of our size. In the past few years, we have opened face-to-face services in towns and cities where we previously didn’t have a presence and we’ll continue to look for more opportunities in underserviced towns and cities.
Branches proposed to close in February
Branch Road, Batley, West Yorkshire
Market Place, Oldham, Lancashire
Church Walk, Burgess Hill, West Sussex
Market Street, Penistone, South Yorkshire
Cornbow Shopping Centre, Halesowen, West Midlands
Carr Lane, Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire
Victoria Street, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire
Barnsley Road, South Elmsall, West Yorkshire
Acre Street, Lindley, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire