Independent research carried out online by YouGov on behalf of the Building Societies Association in July shows that 70% of building society customers see their society as an important part of the community compared to just 50% of customers of banks and other providers.
Building societies have worked hard to ensure their members continue receiving high levels of service during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes keeping as many branches open as possible, whilst making sure both their members and staff remain safe. Although there has been some reduction in opening hours, 94%1 of building society branches have remained opened during the lockdown period.
However, it is more than just keeping branches open that makes a difference to the community – it’s going the extra mile, especially in these difficult times. Many building societies have done this, for example;
- Bath Investment Building Society has been delivering cash to the homes of some of their most vulnerable customers.
- Dudley building Society has donated 1,000 washbags with shampoo and conditioners so doctors and nurses can have regular showers in between seeing patients.
- Principality Building Society has donated £60,000 to Alzheimer’s Society Cymru and the Teenage Cancer Trust Cymru. The funding will help Alzheimer’s Society provide increased support to people living with dementia and isolating through its Dementia Connect service. The donation to the Teenage Cancer Trust will help continue the provision of specialist nursing care and emotional support for young people with cancer at its dedicated unit at the University Hospital of Wales.
- Newbury Building Society has brought forward its annual donation to eight charities, totalling £30,000 to a combined eight charities to help bridge gaps in funding caused by the cancellation of several of the charities key fundraising events
Serving their members, who are also the owners, is a key element of the building society model, and there are many more examples of building societies contributing to their local communities under more normal circumstances – one of many reasons nine out of ten2 building society members say their society provides good customer service.
1. BSA research
2. Excludes those who said ‘don’t know’
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2054 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd - 6th July 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).”