Yorkshire Building Society to Ditch Current Accounts as 48 Branches Close

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Yorkshire building society announced that it is closing 48 branches and it is to close its current account market.  It has blamed the move on customers wanting to conduct digital transactions rather than face to face at a high street branch.

The building society is Britain’s second largest and is following in the footsteps of HSBC who announced they are closing 62 branches this year.  This is in addition to 55 branches earmarked for closure the bank had previously announced.

It said that it was going to concentrate on mortgages and savings and will abandon the Norwich and Peterborough brand found in the high street after taking it over in 2011.

Yorkshire Building society believes it can deliver better long term value to its 3.3 million customers.  It plans to close 20 Yorkshire branches in May with 28 Norwich & Peterborough outlets from September.  After which, the building society will have 260 branches, reduced from 302.

Mike Regnier, chief executive said,  “We believe operating with Yorkshire building society as our sole high-street brand would allow us to run the business more effectively and efficiently, enabling us to deliver better products and services for our members.”

Norwich and Peterborough outlets have offered full banking services for some time and has around 100,000 current accounts.  When and if the branches close Reiner said they would write to customers explaining what they had to do.  For those that only have the one current account, they will have to find an alternative bank or building society for their banking needs.

The moves have put around 440 people at risk of redundancy with job losses expected over the next year and a half.  Where possible it will try to redeploy staff and avoid job losses s through natural turnover of staff.

Reiner cited one of the reasons to close the branches was the customer desire to conduct transactions online and via their smartphone.