The Nottingham Building Society is to open seven building society branches due for closure in market towns across the Midlands, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.
The branches are based in Spalding, Stamford, Huntingdon, Bourne, Thetford, Dereham and Fakenham and are currently operated by the Norwich & Peterborough Building Society.
Its branches now offer a unique range of services – from savings products, whole of market advice on mortgages and financial planning, and estate agency services – and its new approach has been a great success.
Footfall to its branches has increased by over 10% in recent years. Around 78% of The Nottingham’s customers would recommend it to others, which is around double the average for the retail banking sector as a whole.
The Nottingham’s research reveals that 75% of people say it’s important to have access to face-to-face advice in a branch, and if branches offered more services, 42% of people would visit them more.
David Marlow, chief executive of The Nottingham, said: “Around 26% of the country’s bank branches have closed over the past five years and as this trend continues our proposition becomes even more appealing and our business gets stronger.
“Branch closures are leading to more people finding it difficult to access face-to-face advice and service when it comes to dealing with key financial issues in their lives. This is particularly true in market towns, where much of our focus is placed. Sadly there are now as many as 1,500 towns in the UK that used to have branches but no longer do.
“Our unique ‘all-under-one-roof’ strategy of offering a wide range of building society and estate agency services to our customers through our branches has fuelled our recent strong growth and as more banks close their branches, we plan to open more. We opened seven new branch locations in 2016 and welcomed 24,000 new customers – many coming to us to use our advisory services as opposed to just taking out our savings products.
“It took 160 years for us to get to £1bn in branch savings balances, yet through the reinvention of our existing branches and the addition of new ones, it has taken under four years to get to £2bn.”
Following today’s announcement, since 2013 The Nottingham will have opened over 19 branches in locations previously served by a competitor.