Newcastle Building Society bucks closure trend with plan to open biggest branch | Personal Finance | Finance

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A building society is to open its biggest branch yet despite a trend for its rivals and banks to announce mass closures on high streets.

Newcastle Building Society has unveiled a multi-million-pound transformation of the city’s former French Connection retail unit at Monument.

Bosses are to re-site the society’s city centre branch there as part of their pledge to boost the group’s high street presence and increase access to financial services in the North East of England.

The Monument Community Branch will be the society’s largest and it rubber stamps a commitment to staying visible as others move online.

Some 5,162 bank and building society branches have been closed since January 2015 while another 206 are due to be shuttered by the end of this year. Closures particularly hit older customers who largely still use cash and are reluctant to run their finances online.

The Daily Express is crusading to Save Our High Street Banks with a campaign shining a light on the exodus of branches from city and town centres amid warnings that traditional banking will vanish by 2027.

Andrew Haigh, chief executive at the Newcastle Building Society, said: “The move to our new city centre community branch is a monumental step. As banks continue to close branches across the region, we’re proud to be able to call such an iconic location our new city centre home.

“This new branch is part of a region-wide, multi-million-pound investment that demonstrates our intent to provide our communities with welcoming and inclusive branches.”

The planned opening date is early summer next year.

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