The highlight of my week has been the opening of our new branch in Biddulph. The welcome we've received from the local people has been extraodinary and many have already become Hanley members having previously used the premises when occupied by Cheshire building society.Our aim is to be the "go to" place for mortgages , savings and investment advice for everyone in the local Biddulph area , and we've made a fantastic start. Our new branch team is a blend of Hanley experience and new faces, all very determined to shine and to deliver all that is great about a local mutual , with a focus on excellent customer service and tailor-made products.
I've had a fair bit of media reaction, querying why we have bucked a trend of bank branch closures, but reminded commentators that building societies unlike the big banks have sustained a commitment to branch networks, even during the turmoil in our core markets over the past 2 years and in fact several other societies have announced new branches in recent months (eg Newbury BS and Harpenden BS)
The local branch really is our finest demonstration of what we stand for, in terms of service, accessibility and brand values. Of course any branch is only as good as it's staff and on that score,I'd pitch my teams against any other, no matter how big the organisation is or how many TV adverts they use to proclaim their"customer charter".
We are thrilled to be in Biddulph and look forward to many years serving that local community and doing business in the town.