Wednesday, 10 June 2009

"If you think change is tough........"

The sheer scale of the changes announced yesterday by the Lloyds Banking Group take your breath away. The closure of all 164 Cheltenham & Gloucster (C&G) branches with the loss of 1,660 jobs is acute enough but news that Intelligent Finance will move out of the market for new mortgage business and Bank of Scotland will exit the intermediary mortgage market simply intensifies the sense that these once great "brands" are now collateral damage in the rationalisation of the group. When I first joined the building society sector 20 years ago C&G was my fiercest local competitor.They had slick systems and a fine reputation as a progressive building society but now like others who converted to PLC ( eg. Alliance&Leicester, Bradford &Bingley, Halifax, Northern Rock) their logos will soon become the stuff of nostalgia. But for me our financial services landscape in the UK is much poorer for the absence of such locally-established players.The local flavour offered by our thriving building society sector in 2009 remains something to be of which we should be very proud and protective. But clearly we need to adapt and to get even closer to what our members need by getting even better at the stuff we do well. As someone once said, "if you think change is tough,wait till you try irrelevance".......

No comments:

Post a Comment