Back to March 2020

Leeds Building Society works to keep branches open across network - Precautions in place to protect colleagues and customers

Leeds Building Society is thanking members for their patience and support as it works to maintain service levels across all channels, particularly for vulnerable customers.

Jaedon Green, Leeds Building Society’s Chief Customer Officer, said: “We’re alert to the challenges of living in these unprecedented times, especially for our more vulnerable customers.

“For this reason, we have introduced a number of ‘quiet times’ where we can prioritise relevant support in branches.

“We’ve allocated two ‘quiet periods’ on weekdays, between 10.30am and 11.30am, and then from 2.30pm to 3.30pm, during which colleagues will be focused on the needs of older and vulnerable customers.

“We’ve been following the advice of Public Heath England and taking precautionary steps to protect the health and wellbeing of our colleagues and members since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

“While closely monitoring all developments in what is a rapidly-changing situation, our priority is to keep our business running as usual for the benefit of our members, including vulnerable customer groups.

“This includes keeping our branches open as far as we are able and we’re regularly updating our website – at www.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk – with changes to our operations or working practices.

“We’re also proactively contacting customers we know are vulnerable to ensure they have the support they need.

“In branch we’re keeping areas available throughout the day for conversations requiring extra privacy, and are showing customers how they can self-serve, for example, using online services to save them a visit in person.

“Importantly, we’re asking anyone who’s been asked to self-isolate at this time to not use branch services, so we can protect the welfare of other customers and our branch colleagues.”

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 will be available soon. These will be for mortgage customers as well as Buy to Let landlords whose tenants are affected by coronavirus.

For those whose next payment is due before 28 March, customers can register from Monday 23 March. Borrowers whose next payment is due after 28 March will be able to register from Wednesday 25 March.

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.