As we all follow the Government’s latest advice to stay at home we’re continuing to work hard to maintain as many of our normal services as possible, and also introduce new ways to help you manage your money in these challenging times.
You’ve responded really positively to our plea to only visit our branches for essential transactions and we’re truly grateful for your ongoing support. Whilst we can’t see you in person that doesn’t mean we’re not here for you, so I wanted to share some of the other ways we can continue to help you in our ‘new normal’.
Helping members is at the heart of what we do
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 important.
We understand everyone’s financial situation is different and all our members will have their own priorities just now. I want to reassure you that our number one priority remains the same - we’re here to help all our members, whatever your needs.
We’re still here to help you plan, save and protect for your futures.
We know that some of our members are using a little extra time at home to tackle those jobs that don’t always make it to the top of the ‘to do’ list. Those dull but important tasks like making sure your home insurance still provides the right cover, reviewing your mortgage or checking your money is working as hard as it can be. We’re still here to help if you need it.
We’d normally be inviting you into branch to talk about your goals over a nice cuppa. Whilst we can’t offer you the cup of tea just now (although we’d be happy to make one for you when things return to normal) we’d still love to have a chat, only for now let’s talk on the phone.
Our branch teams and mortgage advisers can provide all their usual support and guidance over the telephone. And we’ve changed the way we work with our network of trusted partners so if you need to talk to someone about anything from home insurance and protection to financial and estate planning we can arrange that over the telephone too.
If you need help here’s a helpful link so you can check your local branch telephone number and opening times. Or if you want us to call you, complete a contact form and request a call back here.
And if you’re not quite ready to chat just now but want some ideas about tackling your finances, visit our online financial hub for hints and tips across a range of money topics.
We’re always here to help if you need more support
We know that for some of our members now may be a particularly difficult time financially, and the most important priority is getting access to savings or help with mortgage payments. We’re listening and are constantly looking for new ways to help.
For savers needing their money we’re allowing emergency access to fixed rate savings and bonds without penalty, for as long as the virus impacts our daily life. We’re also introducing new ways for you to manage your savings without the need to visit a branch so you can stay home to keep you and your family safe.
To help our homeowners worried about paying their mortgage we’re offering payment reductions, revised payment plans, and mortgage holidays of up to three months. So far we’ve helped over two thousand members arrange a payment holiday. If you need help, here’s a link to our dedicated payment holiday page.
We’ve created an information page on our website outlining all of the ways we’re supporting members and where you can go for help - you can visit it here.
Helping you get help when you need it
We’re actively backing the Government’s request for people to stay at home to limit the spread of the virus and to help our NHS. That’s why we’re encouraging our members to contact us in different ways – on the telephone and online.
Our telephone lines are busy and it might take longer to get through than usual, so we thank you for your patience and understanding. We’re regularly updating our website so it’s a great place to visit before you call to see if we can answer your question there. That means we can also keep the telephones available for members who really need our help.
Our branches continue to open for essential transactions. From Monday 27th April all of our branches will be open from 9.00am – 1.00pm weekdays, however we’re regularly reviewing our hours so it’s always better to check the latest times if you need to visit. To keep you and our teams safe we’re asking that you still only visit a branch in person for essential transactions, and where possible to put off non-essential visits for the time being.
Here’s a helpful link so you can check your local branch and our telephone opening times.
Helping keep you informed
Over the coming weeks and months we’ll continue to keep you informed on how we’re supporting our members through these challenging times. You can follow our progress on our website and our Facebook page.
With all our best wishes to you, your families and those closest to you.
Chief Executive Officer