The Nottingham Building Society has announced that in November and December this year, it will open seven new branches in market towns across the Midlands, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. It also hopes to continue to open more branches in market towns, which it says often have very few or none of these.
Research conducted by The Nottingham 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. (1)
David Marlow, Chief Executive of The Nottingham said: “Around 26% of the country’s bank branches have closed over the past five years, (3) 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.(4)
“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 £1 billion 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 £2 billion.”
The Nottingham’s research (1) reveals that 84% of people still claim to use a branch, but 75% expect the rate of closures to increase over the next three years - 29% think it will do so ‘dramatically’. Some 63% of people think branches have an important role to play in terms of providing professional face-to-face advice for more complex financial transactions, and this helps explain why nearly one in three (31%) believe they could suffer from financial exclusion if their bank or building society branch closed.
Notes to editors
(1) 1,069 people were interviewed online between 1st and 3rd July 2017 by the research company Consumer Intelligence. They represented the demographic profile of the UK
(4) Campaign for Community Banking Services