Axe to fall on 28 Norwich and Peterborough branches - including a number in north Norfolk
- Credit: Archant
Norwich and Peterborough (N&P) branches in North Walsham, Sheringham and Hoveton are to close.
The trio are among 28 N&P closures scheduled from September announced this morning, January 25, by the Yorkshire Building Society Group (YBSG) which took over N&P in 2011 and now plans to axe the brand.
YBSG, which will also shut 20 Yorkshire Building Society branches in May, said it planned to maintain a high street network of 260 branches and agencies across the UK, with Yorkshire Building Society as the sole high street brand.
The move, affecting 3.3m customers nationwide, has been condemned by the North Norfolk Labour Party.
Commenting on the North Walsham closure, spokesman David Spencer said: North Walsham spokesperson David Spencer said: 'This is a big blow to residents living in north Norfolk and a kick in the teeth for customers who do not all bank online. They shop on the high street because it guarantees friendly customer service and a local face behind the desk. Now, for all their loyalty, those jobs are at risk.
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'In North Walsham we have only recently lost our branch of the HSBC bank and this is another significant loss to our high street.
'The local branch was only just refurbished in North Walsham and many have only recently been updated with new branding. While times change, this seems very premature and I am not convinced this strategy will work for the management.'
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YBSG said it would work with affected customers and would contact them to outline what the proposals meant for their specific circumstances.
Other N&P branches in Norfolk earmarked for closure include those in Fakenham, Dereham, Watton, Thetford, Downham Market and three branches in Norwich - Chapelfield, Aylsham Road and Plumstead Road.
Mike Regnier, chief executive, said: 'The driving forces behind the proposed branch closures are shifts in market conditions and an increasing desire among customers to transact digitally rather than on the high street. We therefore no longer believe it is the right commercial position for us to continue to maintain these 48 branches across the N&P and Yorkshire network.
'The values of the N&P and Yorkshire brands are synonymous and 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.'