Back to March 2020

Essential services maintained as hours reduced in Leeds Building Society branches - Precautions in place to protect colleagues and customers

Opening hours are being reduced at Leeds Building Society branches across the country as it continues to support savings members, particularly from vulnerable customer groups.

From  Wednesday, 25 March, the Society’s branches will be open between 10am and 3.30pm, Monday to Friday only.

As before, priority will be given to elderly and vulnerable customers at specific times of day – between 10.30am and 11.30am in the mornings, and between 2.30pm and 3.30pm in the afternoons.

The Society continues to follow official guidance to protect the wellbeing of colleagues and customers, so where there are already two or more customers inside a branch, others are requested to wait outside and follow social distancing advice.

“We remain committed to providing important access to financial services, as requested by the Government, as the current Covid-19 situation continues to evolve,” said Jaedon Green, Leeds Building Society’s Chief Customer Officer.

“We’ll therefore keep our branches open, where we can do this safely for our colleagues and customers.

“With this in mind, we’re asking customers to limit branch visits only for urgent transactions, to ensure we maintain our ability to support those who need it most.

“In addition, anyone asked to self-isolate at this time should please not use branch services, so we can protect the welfare of other customers and our branch colleagues.”

Many services can be accessed online - at www.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk - or by telephone on 03450 505075 and Jaedon thanked customers for their patience when the Society’s phone lines are especially busy.

The Society has a dedicated page about Covid-19 and details of branch closures can be found at https://www.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk/coronavirus-information/

Leeds Building Society’s branches will no longer be open on Saturdays and some may close for 30 minutes at lunchtimes.

Branch colleagues have been proactively contacting customers known to be vulnerable to ensure they have the support they need.

Ends

Notes to Editors

Since the Chancellor's announcement on Tuesday 17 March, Leeds Building Society has been continuing to look at how it can support members and already has a number of options available which can help borrowers at risk of experiencing financial difficulties.

For members who are worried, or may now struggle to meet mortgage payments, because of coronavirus, these include:

Arrears fees: waived until the end of May.

Repossessions: suspended until the end of May.

Mortgage payment holidays: repayment holidays of up to three months are available, for mortgage customers as well as Buy to Let landlords whose tenants are affected by coronavirus.

The latest information is available here: www.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk

Extra mortgage support: mortgage payment holidays will not be suitable for all borrowers. Options for borrowers in arrears include a temporary move to interest only, or a concession on monthly repayments.

Additional payments: some members may want to make extra ad-hoc mortgage payments – more information about how to do this in can be found in the Help centre

Support by phone: As the Society is currently receiving an extremely high numbers of calls, it is prioritising customers who need help the most so is asking customers to call only if they're having difficulties meeting their next mortgage payment. Their patience and understanding is appreciated at this exceptionally busy time.

Leeds Building Society operates throughout the UK and had assets of £20.8bn at 31 December 2019 (£19.4bn at 31 December 2018). Its head office is in the centre of Leeds, where it has been based since 1886.

The Society won the title of Best Shared Ownership Mortgage Lender in the 2019 What Mortgage Awards, its fourth consecutive year of success in this category. It also received a Gold Ribbon from Fairer Finance for savings accounts for the second year running, based on customer happiness and trust, along with the ability to explain things clearly.