Sunday, 2 October 2016

Opening an Account with a Building Society

The Co-op Bank branch (aka Britannia Building Society) in Hereford is closing.
They sent me a nice letter telling me that I could switch to Online Banking.

I don't think so.

The reasons I opened a savings account with the Co-op were:
a) It's in Hereford, so I would have to make a special trip if I wanted to take money out of the account, thus making it less likely that I would dip into my reserves on a whim.
b) The office is manned by actual human beings, who can explain things should I need it.

If I switched to online banking, all I would have to do to access my money would be to sit down in my living room and turn the computer on, and there would be no helpful human beings to interact with.

Over the time I've had my savings with the Co-op, I've found that I don't actually have the desire to dip into the savings all that often, so I probably don't need to have my account in an office a bus ride away.
But I still want the interaction with actual human beings.

Fortunately, the Yorkshire Building Society office is just across the road in Broad Street, staffed by the lovely ladies who also work at Beales the Solicitors. Now, I'm a good Lancashire lass, and there is historic rivalry between the two counties, but I reckoned that this would be the best place for me to open an account.

So I closed my account with the Co-op, and took the cheque down to the Yorkshire.
It did amuse me that, while I was proving my identity with passport and utility bills, one of the ladies from the solicitors came in to use the photocopier and said "Hello, Lesley, what are you doing here?" But the rules are that I have to prove that I'm not an international money launderer, with specific documents, and it doesn't matter if I know the staff personally.

The other good thing is that they are a traditional building society, with an interest in charitable giving. At the moment they're running a Small Change Big Difference campaign, for members to choose a local charity, to which the Society will give £100.

I think the Yorkshire is going to suit me very well.

No comments: