Darlington Building Society has vowed to maintain a commitment to its town centre branches in contrast to a growing trend of banks pulling out of the high street.
A major programme of investment in the Society’s branches has been underway since 2019 with Stockton becoming the latest to be given a smart new look last year.
That followed the refurbishment of Guisborough, Yarm, Barnard Castle, and Northallerton, as well as the relocation of Redcar into larger, more prominent high street premises.
And Louise Thorpe, Distribution Director for the Society, said that the branch investment programme would continue in 2023 and beyond, with renewed focus on the remaining branches in Darlington, Bishop Auckland and Middlesbrough.
“Banks have announced a spate of branch closures in our operating area lately, but our branches remain a vital part of our business because they are at the heart of our local communities, and we are expecting to be in a position to make some important announcements very soon.
“While it is important for the Society to accelerate its investment in new technology, so we can provide our members with the choice of digital banking services, we also know how much our members value that friendly, personal contact they receive by being able to pop into a branch.
“It’s especially important for those members who have additional customer care needs, or perhaps going through a life event, to be able to access face-to-face independent financial advice and help with more complex transactions.
“The cost-of-living crisis has also increased the demand for people needing access to cash, which has also underlined the importance of maintaining a strong branch network.”
Louise acknowledged the role members play in helping to shape the Society’s services and enabling it to go on investing in the future of the business, as well as supporting the local community.
“Our membership is growing and by being a member, you are helping to make things happen and strengthening the business, so that investment in the branch network, technological advances, and good causes in the local area can continue,” she added.
As a result of the strongest financial performance in its 167-year history in 2022, the Society was able to consistently provide savers with good value for their money by increasing rates on its variable savings book multiple times – with rates 0.55% higher than the market average across the year.
“The success of Darlington Building Society is built on a partnership between Darlington Building Society and its members – and together we can make a real difference,” said Louise.
- Members are being given a voice in helping to shape the future direction of the Society by voting ahead of this year’s annual general meeting at Theatre Hullabaloo, in Darlington, on April 24. Find out more about member voting at www.darlington.co.uk/AGM
*Attached images feature Chris Brown, Director of Products and Marketing, and Louise Thorpe, Director of Distribution