N&P axes 10 branches

TEN branches of the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society - including one in Suffolk and three in Essex - will close in March, it was announced today.

Brad Jones

TEN branches of the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society - including one in Suffolk and three in Essex - will close in March, it was announced today.

Its chief executive said they were casualties of “cavalier behaviour” elsewhere in the financial markets, but stressed the N&P remained a good business.

Branches closing on March 5 next year are in Halesworth, Clacton, Colchester, Chelmsford, Ashby, Bedford, Kettering, Spilsby, Immingham and Unthank Road in Norwich.


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The N&P, which currently has 56 branches, said discussions were under way with 52 staff regarding their roles. As many as possible will be redeployed.

Matthew Bullock, chief executive of the N&P, said: “We are so sad that the dismal state of the financial markets since the collapse and rescue of the banks has brought us to this.

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“Ours is a good business with satisfied customers. We were very reluctant to take this step because we still fundamentally regard our branches as the best means of serving our members.

“But having made significant cost efficiencies at our head office in Peterborough, and with our income this year markedly down and looking set to reduce further next year, we have had to make this very tough decision to include the branch network in our cuts.

“Our members will certainly be disappointed, but we have to navigate our way through the backwash from the rescue of the banks.”

He added: “With low reliance on wholesale markets and good asset quality, N&P remains a sound business. The current performance of our lending book is good; our arrears rate is about one third the industry average and stable, and fewer than 1% of our mortgage customers are in serious arrears.

“We have not purchased loan books or offered self-certificated loans. We originate and underwrite all of our own lending. Our position amongst all UK banks and buildings societies remains stable, but our staff, these branches, and the members that they serve are sorry casualties of others' cavalier behaviour.”

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