Regret over building society current account axe

Norwich and Peterborough branch Image copyright YBS

A building society boss has said he "wished it was not the case" that around 100,000 of his customers will have to move their money elsewhere.

It was announced at the end of last month that all current accounts with the Norwich and Peterborough building society will be closed by the end of August.

The brand will also be abolished, and some branches closed.

The society's parent mutual said customers would be helped to switch.

Branch closures

Owners Yorkshire Building Society (YBS), the UK's second largest mutual, said it would close 28 N&P branches this year. The others will be rebranded as YBS branches.

Customers who want to continue operating a current account will have to find a new bank or building society.

Mike Regnier, chief executive of YBS, told BBC Radio 4's Money Box that it was a "real shame" that the accounts had to close. He said that too much investment would be required to keep the current accounts compliant with regulation if offered by the mutual.

Instead it is to concentrate on savings and mortgage products.

He said that the society was working with High Street banks to assist people as they switched accounts, even though the building society is not part of the official current account switching service.

Customers with overdrafts would be able to find a home with a selection of banks, he added.

Regarding branch closures, he said that a regional building society was not immune to the advance of digital banking.

The branches being closed in the society's latest round of shut downs had an average of seven customers a day, he said.

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