Belfast Telegraph

Building Society to open seven branches across East Midlands and East Anglia

Nottingham Building Society has secured the future of 50 jobs by bucking the industry trend and opening seven branches.

The firm is launching branches in market towns across Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and the Midlands, which are being run by the Norwich & Peterborough Building Society (N&P).

It comes after Yorkshire Building Society announced in January that it would shut 48 sites and call time on the N&P brand after 157 years.

Banks and building societies have made cost savings by rolling back their branch network as some customers prefer to use online banking services.

David Marlow, chief executive of Nottingham Building Society, said he hopes to set up even more branches in market towns.

He 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."

The new branches will be based in Spalding, Stamford, Huntingdon, Bourne, Thetford, Dereham and Fakenham.

It will bring Nottingham Building Society's total branch network to 67. The firm has taken on 19 branches from rival banks and building societies .

The firm said its efforts to increase its bricks and mortar footprint have led to "strong growth", with total assets up 8.2% year-on-year in 2016 and gross mortgage lending climbing 24% over the period.

Mr Marlow added: "We are very grateful for the opportunity to work with Yorkshire Building Society to maintain continuity of financial services to members of these communities, as well as providing redeployment and employment opportunities in the local economies."

Around 80% of staff at branches taken over by Nottingham Building Society have switched allegiances and started working at the firm, the organisation said.

The building society has seen its workforce nearly double to 717 over the past four years.

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