Saving & Banking

What should Norwich & Peterborough customers do next?

Norwich & Peterborough Building Society is shutting its branches and closing its current accounts, leaving customers looking for a new bank or building society.

Parent company Yorkshire Building Society is planning to close 28 Norwich & Peterborough branches from September this year.

All current account customers with Norwich & Peterborough will be written to explaining what will happen next before their accounts are closed by 31 August.

Norwich & Peterborough said that the move will help it focus on mortgages and savings.

Customers will be provided with details of how they can switch or close their account, along with information specific to their personal circumstances.

If Norwich & Peterborough has not been contacted by the time the current account is closed, the society will keep hold of the money until the customer gets in touch.

A spokesperson for Norwich & Peterborough said that mortgage borrowers will continue to pay until the end of their term, so will not have to do anything.

Customers with a savings account will be notified before being transferred to Yorkshire Building Society.

Switching

Gocompare.com has warned that Norwich & Peterborough customers may have some difficulty switching their accounts as the society is not part of the Current Account Switching Service (CASS).

Matt Sanders, head of money at Gocompare.com Money, said: “This is a very poor deal for N&P current account holders.

“While you can still switch without the CASS process, it can be arduous to manually identify all the regular payments that need to be transferred and then also contact payees, such as gas and electric providers, to set up new direct debits. Most customers will find they will have to trawl back through at least three months of statements to be sure they’ve identified all their transactions, otherwise they could be exposed to missed payment charges.”

“Hopefully, other banks will be keen to help these N&P customers, who have been put in this position through no fault of their own, and make the process as easy as possible.

A Norwich & Peterborough spokesperson said: “We will write to customers to provide details of how they can switch or close their account, along with information specific to their personal circumstances. Once a customer has chosen a new provider they would need to provide them with their Norwich & Peterborough current account details.

“When the new provider contacts us we would provide them with details of any regular payments so these can be set up on the new account. We would then arrange to transfer any account balance to the new account, and then close the N&P account when the customer or new provider asks us to do so.”

Current account options

Despite only one in 15 bank accounts now paying the same or better than the rate of inflation, there are a number of high interest options available on the market for savers looking to find another home for their cash.

The Nationwide FlexDirect account gives you the best interest rate on the market at 5.00% on the first £2,500 of your cash.

The Tesco Bank Current Account, the TSB Classic Plus and the Nationwide BS FlexPlus accounts all have an AER of 3.00%.

Slightly lower at 2% is the Bank of Scotland Classic with Vantage account and the Lloyds Bank Club Lloyds account.

Provider Account name Account fee Tier AER % Funding requirements
Nationwide BS FlexDirect – Funded None £0.01 5.00% £1000.00 per month
Tesco Bank Current Account None £0.01 3.00% None
TSB Classic Plus None £1.00 3.00% £500.00 per month
Nationwide BS FlexPlus £10.00 pm £0.01 3.00% None
Bank of Scotland Classic – with Vantage None £1,000.00 2.00% £1000.00 per month
Lloyds Bank Club Lloyds £3.00 pm £1.00 2.00% None
Bank of Scotland Platinum – with Vantage £17.00 pm £1,000.00 2.00% £1000.00 per month

Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: “Whilst its disappointing news that Norwich & Peterborough Building Society will disappear, customers shouldn’t feel too disheartened about moving elsewhere as there are some good deals out there.

“The main issue in moving a current account will be the fact that Norwich & Peterborough Building Society is not part of the Current Account Switch Guarantee Service, which could mean the process to move takes longer than they would assume.

“There are other perks to consider losing out on though, such as the fact that the Gold Account allowed customers to use their debt card abroad without any foreign exchange fees, so now only Nationwide Building Society providers a competitive alternative on its FlexPlus which costs £10 per month.

“On the Norwich & Peterborough Building Society savings account range, it’s the regular saver account that customers are likely to miss the most as it’s currently paying 4% for 12 months – but they can do better than this with other banks such as M&S Bank, first direct, HSBC or Nationwide Building Society if they move their current account to them, they can earn 5% on their regular saver.”

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