Doing the right thing to look after each other

At the beginning of last week the Prime Minister outlined plans for a gradual easing of the lockdown measures we have all been living with for almost nine weeks. Since then we’ve been working hard to refine our plans to continue to support you and our teams through the next phase. 

Looking after you

In our branches

Many of our members rely on our branches to manage their money so I’m delighted we’ve been able to keep all of our branches open for the last 9 weeks for essential transactions. 

With more people returning to work and signs that more high street shops could start to reopen their doors from early June, we are expecting more members to start using our branches in the coming weeks. 

So we’re adapting our plans to give members the ability to carry out a wider range of transactions and extending our opening hours to 9.00am - 2.00pm weekdays so we can service a growing number of members safely. 

We’ll continue to make sure our branches are safe places for our members and teams alike and for that reason we’ll continue to apply social distancing measures, including limiting the numbers of members in branch at any one time and asking you to remain 2 metres apart whilst waiting to be served. We tend to find we are busiest earlier in the morning so you might like to visit after 11.00am when the branch is likely to be quieter. 

You’ll also see some changes in branch, such as protective screens at our counter positions and some of our team members wearing gloves when handling cash. These measures are designed to help keep you and our teams safe. 

From time to time we might need to change our branch opening hours on a local level so here’s a helpful link so you can check your local branch opening times before you visit.

At home

We’re still supporting the Government’s advice to stay at home if you can. So if you don’t want to come into a branch we can help you in different ways. We’ve adapted many of our services so that we can now help you over the telephone. Our central telephone lines continue to open as normal from 9.00am - 5.00pm during the week, or if you prefer you can call your local branch. 

We’re also regularly updating our website so it’s a great place to visit before you call to see if we can answer your question there.

Looking after our teams

As well as looking after you, we’re looking after our teams too. We continue to support as many of our team members as possible to work from home. For those team members who do have to come into a branch or head office to work, we’re working hard to make sure all our spaces are as safe as possible. 

We’re following the very latest Government guidelines for safe workplaces. Whilst I’m delighted to say we have many of the best practice measures in place already, we’ll be making additional improvements to make our environments even safer.  

At the end of March we followed Government advice to temporarily close our estate agency branches as they were not offering essential services. Following guidance last week that estate agency services can now restart, we’re working closely with our teams to look for safe ways to reopen our estate agency branches and resume property viewings and valuations. As the safety of our members and teams continues to be of the utmost importance, we’ll only resume this aspect of our service once we are confident it is safe to do so. Members needing support from our estate agency or lettings team can continue to contact their local building society branch team.

Looking after your community

Alongside supporting our members and teams through the pandemic in as many ways as possible we are keen to support our wider communities as well, so we’ve tripled our planned charitable donations for the first half of 2020 to £100,000. 

Here are just a few examples of some of the great causes we’ve been able to support so far:

  • Our donation to The SilverLine has helped fund thousands of calls to their 24 hour free and confidential helpline for older people who are isolated and feeling lonely.
  • Our donation to our longstanding partner Framework, a charity working with homeless and vulnerably housed people across the East Midlands, has helped fund emergency food and care packages to hundreds of people and to buy personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep staff and residents safe.
  • Our donation to twenty Trussell Trust foodbanks has funded the provision of 3,000 food parcels, providing essential food items for people who need them most.
If you’d like to know more you can follow our progress on the community pages on our website and our Facebook page.

Looking after each other

Here’s a short video message from our team in their words to tell you more about what we’ve been doing to look after each other.

With all our best wishes to you, your families and those closest to you for the long bank holiday weekend. We hope you continue to stay safe and stay well. 

David Marlow Chief Executive Officer