Bev­er­ley to keep the per­sonal touch

Yorkshire Post - Business - - FRONT PAGE - GREG WRIGHT DEPUTY BUSI­NESS ED­I­TOR Email: greg.wright@ypn.co.uk Twit­ter: @greg­wrightyp

MU­TUAL:

Bev­er­ley Build­ing So­ci­ety plans to en­sure more peo­ple have ac­cess to face to face fi­nan­cial ser­vices, at a time when many banks have in­fu­ri­ated cus­tomers by clos­ing ru­ral branches.

Bev­er­ley, one of Bri­tain’s old­est mu­tu­als, also re­vealed it had achieved one of its best fi­nan­cial per­for­mances in 2017.

BEV­ER­LEY BUILD­ING So­ci­ety plans to en­sure more peo­ple have ac­cess to face to face fi­nan­cial ser­vices, at a time when many banks have in­fu­ri­ated cus­tomers by clos­ing dozens of ru­ral branches.

Bev­er­ley, which is one of Bri­tain’s old­est mu­tu­als, also re­vealed that it had achieved one of its best fi­nan­cial per­for­mances dur­ing 2017. The so­ci­ety’s pre-tax prof­its were £680,000 which was al­most dou­ble 2016’s fig­ure of £337,000.

Over­all lend­ing was up by £1.8m, to £149.3m in 2017, com­pared to £147.5m the pre­vi­ous year, which Bev­er­ley said was due to its per­son­alised ap­proach to un­der­writ­ing and meet­ing peo­ple’s niche bor­row­ing needs.

In re­cent years, many of the big banks have closed branches in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, pro­vok­ing an an­gry re­sponse from cus­tomers and busi­nesses.

Bev­er­ley is speak­ing to a num­ber of po­ten­tial col­lab­o­ra­tors, in­clud­ing East Rid­ing of York­shire Coun­cil and the Univer­sity of Hull, about the pos­si­bil­ity of un­der­tak­ing a re­search project look­ing at the fi­nan­cial needs of peo­ple in East York­shire. The project could in­clude an as­sess­ment of the pro­vi­sion of fi­nan­cial ser­vices in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

The chief ex­ec­u­tive, Karl El­liott, said: “While the so­ci­ety, which has just one branch, could not jus­tify an in­vest­ment in more bricks and mor­tar fa­cil­i­ties, it is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of work­ing with part­ners to es­tab-

lish ‘pop-up’ fa­cil­i­ties so peo­ple in East York­shire can ac­cess a face to face ser­vice and get the help they need near where they live.”

Mr El­liott added: “Our so­ci­ety was cre­ated over 150 years ago by the rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies of their day – driven by their vi­sion of mak­ing home own­er­ship a pos­si­bil­ity for all.

“In to­day’s fi­nan­cial mar­ket­place, where there is ever more un­cer­tainty; from af­ford­able hous­ing, to plan­ning for later life, there is a grow­ing need for a fi­nan­cial provider who is ac­ces­si­ble and can bet­ter un­der­stand and re­spond to cus­tomers’ chang­ing needs.”

KARL EL­LIOTT:

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of Bev­er­ley Build­ing So­ci­ety.

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