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Fenland building society branch to close

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March, Cambridgeshire, is to lose its Nottingham Building Society branch at Christmas.

The society announced this week that the Broad Street, March, branch was among 17 earmarked for closure.

Letters have gone out to customers telling them of the closure and offering alternative banking at their nearest branch in East Dereham – 44 miles away.

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“All the grandchildren’s accounts and ours will be withdrawn before then as no way will we be travelling to Dereham,” said one angry customer.

A Nottingham spokesperson said: “We’ve recently taken the very difficult decision to close 17 of our branches.

“Following a detailed review of our branch network we can see the way members are using our branches has changed. People are visiting us less and less each year, reducing the number of times they visit, and using alternative ways to manage their money – over the telephone and online. 

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“In some of our locations there are days where we have very few members transacting in our branches. In others, less than 30% of members have transacted in the branch in the last 12 months.

“We also have decreasing customer numbers and savings balances in some branches. Whilst we know it doesn’t suit everyone there is a continuing trend towards having the ability to transact digitally and we’ve seen this trend continue post the pandemic.”

The spokesperson added: “We have a responsibility to our members to make sure we have an efficient branch network and that we operate in locations where members need and use them the most. We’ve been very thoughtful, and done a significant amount of analysis, to understand the impact branch closures will have.

“We have looked at the distance to an alternative Nottingham branch, whether there are other financial service providers on the high street or whether we are the last remaining branch. We’ve also considered the impact on colleague morale of working in branches where they have little to no interaction with members. “

The spokesperson added: “We recognise that for some members their new branch may not be convenient and if we can’t find a way to help them with their savings, we’ll help them find other suitable savings options elsewhere.”

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