As the impact of Coronavirus is felt across the UK, Nottingham Building Society has provided information on how it’s supporting members and doing the right thing for the communities in which it operates through the pandemic and beyond.
Keeping branches open
As an essential service, the Society has worked hard to maintain services for members, keeping branches open for those that need it the most. All building society branches are currently open albeit on reduced operating hours. The Society has advised members they should only visit branches for compulsory activity such as cash withdrawals for essential purchases and social distancing is being adhered to with only one customer allowed into a branch at a time and customers that are waiting outside are asked to remain 2 metres apart.
David Marlow, Chief Executive Officer, commented; “As an essential service, we remain committed to providing members with vital access to their money and help and advice at this particularly challenging time. We aim to continue to open our branches where we can do this safely for both our members and teams alike.
“Our dedicated teams are overcoming multiple obstacles to maintain services for members. I have been in awe around how our teams have come together to serve their members locally in some cases even helping vulnerable customers secure their weekly shopping. I am enormously grateful for the way in which they have supported each other and our members.”
Looking after its members
The Society is acutely aware that a key concern facing many of its members is the financial impact of these unprecedented times and has taken steps to support borrows and savers alike.
In addition to offering payment holidays to its mortgage customers, the Society has vowed to protect savers and announced it is freezing rates on its savings accounts for the next 3 months, despite the Bank of England having reduced the bank base rate twice during March down to 0.1%. David Marlow continued; “Our mutual ethos and financial strength means we have the ability to provide our members with some support during this national emergency.
“At a time when household finances are being squeezed and are facing massive uncertainty, deciding not to pass on interest rate reductions for the next 3 months is just another way we are looking after our members and demonstrates the building society has always been the best place for their savings.”
Doing the right thing for its communities
In addition to supporting its members, the Society is also extending its support to the wider community. Although its corporate and social responsibility programme has traditionally aligned to themes of supporting employability, financial education and literacy and tackling homelessness, this is being extended to support those in most need including:
- Alleviation of poverty – supporting communities facing financial hardship and accessing funds remotely for the first time
- Reducing social isolation – reaching out to those members of our communities at risk of social isolation
- Supporting education and young people – supporting schools, parents and community groups engaged in home-education and continuing to drive aspiration for the future in young people
- Supporting our charitable partners – supporting emergency activation activity and minimising on-going costs to relieve the pressure
The Society has announced it will be trebling its planned charitable donations for the first half of 2020, and is making a six figure investment immediately available to help fund activity in these key areas across its communities. Further details of those causes set to benefit will be shared over the coming weeks as the funds find their way to the frontline where they are most needed.
David Marlow concluded; “The Nottingham has a long and proud history of doing the right thing and in times like these, this is more important than ever. As a mutual organisation we are committed to supporting our communities and, although we realise these are worrying times, we know we will get through this together, looking after each other and supporting those that need it most.”