Home Finance & Investments Newcastle Building Society receives customers’ seal of approval as it passes midpoint...

Newcastle Building Society receives customers’ seal of approval as it passes midpoint of network-wide improvement

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Stuart Miller, customer director at Newcastle Building Society

The North East’s largest building society has received a seal of approval from customers old and new at the halfway point of a multi-million pound investment programme into its regional branch network.

Newcastle Building Society is demonstrating that it’s ‘here to stay’ on high streets across the North East by significantly investing in new locations and providing long term commitment to existing sites. It is completing the remaining upgrading or relocation of 16 branches across North East England and Cumbria, creating new, modern, open plan designs across its entire 27 branch network as part of a multi-million pound programme.

Against a backdrop of increasing bank branch closures, the Society has welcomed thousands of new customers to its branches so far this year and averages a consistent customer satisfaction rating of 96 per cent.

As well as a major refurbishment programme, and signing new long term leases on its refurbished branches, the Society announced in March that it is opening a new branch in Barnard Castle.

Branch refurbishments have already been completed in Ashington, Gosforth, Whickham and Morpeth while a new branch opened in Carlisle at the end of last year.

Work on a new branch location in Stokesley is well under way, alongside refurbishments at the Society’s Berwick branch. Whitley Bay, Hexham, Ponteland, Middlesbrough, Consett and South Shields are all in line for investment by the end of the year.

A raft of North East contractors are undertaking the work as part of the Society’s policy of using local suppliers. Community spaces in which local people and groups can meet and enjoy a cuppa and time together are included in the new branch designs wherever space allows.

Stuart Miller, customer director at Newcastle Building Society, said: “We’ve long said we’re committed to face-to-face services on the High Street, but actions speak louder than words. We’re heavily investing in our branch network, signing long term branch leases and opening a new branch in Barnard Castle.

“We’re building a long term shared future with our regional communities. We want to play a leading part in the creation of sustainable, vibrant North East high streets.

“We understand how important it is to have a branch you can pop into. We’ve seen an increase in customers as a result of our investment, but the most positive result has been the resounding support from customers. We are seeing exceptional service ratings from customers, including a 98 per cent score for Customer Satisfaction. And we hope that by demonstrating we’re here to stay, more customers old and new, will use the services we are providing as part of our dedication to their local community.”