25 April 2017
- New branch establishes innovative way of delivering services to a community
- New research shows the value the nation places on having a good high street
Nationwide Building Society today opens the doors on its first community branch in Glastonbury, Somerset - one year after the last bank left the town.
Having heavily consulted with the town, the Society has created a first of its kind partnership that will see financial services brought back to the area. The innovative ‘community contract’ saw a significant number of local people pledging to support the incoming branch.
The branch will combine the very latest in new technology – including the Society’s pioneering high definition video link, Nationwide Now, coupled with the very best customer service, delivered by a team who will be on hand to provide advice and support to members.
On the day the new branch is opened, research from Nationwide demonstrates the importance of local services and amenities on Britain’s high streets. The poll of 2,000 adults shows:
- Nearly half of Brits (49%) say the quality of services and shops on high street influences their decision to move to an area
- The top three high street amenities valued by people are a post office (70%), bank/building society (63%) and a pharmacy (57%)
- Four in ten Brits (40%) would pay significantly more to live in an area with a good selection of shops and services on their doorstep;
- More than half (52%) of those aged under 34 say this would be the case for them, significantly higher than older Brits – just over a quarter (26%) of over 45s say they would pay more to have shops and service nearby
Graeme Hughes, Distribution Director, Nationwide Building Society, said: “As a building society we were born out of a social purpose and working in partnership to achieve a common goal is in our roots. That is why we started this journey by talking to the people in Glastonbury late last year to see if they would support us if we opened a branch in the town. The resounding response was yes and since then we have been busy getting the branch ready to open while spending time in the town making decisions together.
“Glastonbury had just lost all their financial services and we know how important having a range of ways to do business with your financial services provider is. Our commitment to our branch network has never been stronger and we continue to invest £500m over a five-year period. Our Nationwide Now high definition video link is a great example of how we believe technology and the human touch can offer the best customer service. It is this powerful combination that is enabling us to explore bringing branches back to communities in a sustainable way.”
The Nationwide and Glastonbury branch journey has been a unique experience:
- Eight community events held in the town before the branch opened to get to know the community, attracting more than 500 visitors to get involved in the planning and delivery of the branch
- The Society consulted the community on key requirements for the branch including location, opening hours and services
- Two charities to benefit from £5,000 each on opening day 25 April 2017 – Somerset Levels (RDA) Riding for the Disabled and Help Counselling Glastonbury
- Dedicated Community Branch Manager Phillip Goodridge-Reynolds and his local branch team
- Space in the branch for local art, community notices and community partnership initiatives
Jon Cousins, Glastonbury Mayor said: “The town was deeply frustrated when we lost our financial providers last year so it has been exciting working closely with Nationwide to help them to open a community branch on the high street. The fact that Nationwide is a building society also resonates with us as a town; we have a similar ethos and outlook. We’ve worked closely with them on what we think is something unique - a genuine community branch making decisions with us based on our feedback and needs. We’ll continue to develop this relationship and remain committed to making the branch a useful resource for the community.”
Paul Manning, Chair of the Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce, said: “As a local business owner, resident and chair of the Chamber of Commerce I’m really pleased that having lost all of our financial services providers in a short space of time, Nationwide Building Society has opened a branch in Glastonbury. The initial consultation last year confirmed that the town wanted a branch and were committed to supporting the Society. Having a convenient branch is important to so many of us here for a variety of reasons, it really matters.”