Nottingham Building Society is bucking one of banking’s biggest trends, growing its physical footprint by opening up seven new branches in British market towns.
The UK’s high street giants have been slashing their branch networks as customers go mobile, while a slew of new app-only challengers are entering the market.
Yet The Nottingham says that it has seen footfall to its branches increase by over 10% in recent years, prompting it to take over seven branches operated by the Norwich & Peterborough Building Society.
In a poll commissioned by The Nottingham, 75% of Brits say it’s important to have access to face-to-face advice in a branch, and 42% insist that if branches offered more services, they would visit them more.
When the new branches come online later this year, The Nottingham will have 67 sites in its network, more than double the number it had in 2012. In contrast, the wider UK market saw more than 1000 branches close last year.
David Marlow, chief executive, The Nottingham, says: “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.”
The Nottingham is not the only FS firm benefitting from a physical presence on the high street. Swedish import Handelsbanken, which has built up a 207-strong branch network since entering the UK, this week posted record quarterly results.