Coronavirus: Thank you for helping keep us all safe. Let’s keep it going

We genuinely care for our members and our communities because we know that when we work together we’re stronger. In the current climate this is more important than ever, so I wanted to share with you the things we’re doing to support you and your community at this time of national emergency.

Looking after you

Many of our members rely on branches to access their money so I’m delighted that we’ve been able to keep all of our 60 branches open, albeit on reduced operating hours. Our dedicated branch teams have overcome multiple obstacles to make this happen and have been supported by team members from across the business who’ve stepped outside of their usual roles to help.

The safety of our members and teams has always been at the forefront of our minds and we’ve opened branches safely by encouraging members to only visit us for essential transactions, limiting the numbers of customers in small branch spaces, and operating sensible queueing distances.

Alongside our branches, our customer support telephone lines continue to open as normal during the week – a critical service whilst we’re encouraging members to stay at home and contact us in different ways.

I’d like to thank our members for the kindness and patience you have been showing to all of our team members in these exceptional circumstances.
Here’s a helpful link so you can check your local branch and our telephone opening times.

Looking after your money

Helping our members to save, plan and protect for the future is right at the heart of what we’re here to do, and it’s never been more relevant or important than now.

To protect our savers at a time when household finances are being squeezed, we’ve decided not to pass on any interest rate reductions to our members for now despite the Bank of England reducing the bank base rate twice in March to a low of 0.10%.


We’re making it easier for members to access their money by allowing emergency access to fixed rate savings and bonds without penalty and introducing new ways to manage savings without the need to visit a branch.

To help homeowners worried about paying their mortgage as a result of not being able to work or losing their jobs we’re offering payment reductions, revised payment plans, and mortgage holidays of up to 3 months.

We’ve also changed the way we work with our network of trusted partners to give members access to our wider range of services such as insurance and protection, financial and estate planning over the telephone rather than in branch. This is especially important at a time when our members might be thinking about their financial situation more than usual.

Looking after our teams

As well as looking after you, we’re looking after our teams too - maintaining the highest standards of hygiene in our workplaces, supporting as many of our team members to work from home as possible, and looking after those who do come into the office with free lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

Any of our team members who are required to follow government advice and self-isolate are being supported and are receiving full pay. We’re also supporting teams to look after their mental as well as physical wellbeing, whilst we’re working in different ways.

Looking after your community

We have a long and proud history of supporting our communities, working with groups and causes supporting employability, financial literacy and tackling homelessness.
We’re donating £100,000 to local groups in our communities focused on reducing social isolation for more vulnerable members of society, supporting young people to achieve their potential, and tackling homelessness and food poverty.

Our team members, who have always been active participants in our community initiatives, are stepping up to get involved in supporting local causes as well as signing up to the national drive for support for the NHS.

Over the coming weeks and months we will keep you updated on everything we are doing to support your local community. You can follow our progress on the community pages on our website and our Facebook page.

Please click to view a short video that brings the words in this email to life.

 

With all our best wishes to you, your families and those closest to you

David Marlow
Chief Executive Officer

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