About 100,000 current accounts held with building society brand Norwich & Peterborough (N&P) are set to close by 31 August because the brand itself will cease to exist. If you're affected by the closure you'll be contacted with details on how to switch elsewhere.
Parent firm Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) Group plans to scrap N&P to "increase focus on one high street brand".
It also plans to close 20 YBS branches in May and 28 N&P branches from September this year in an apparent drive towards digital banking. A full list of affected branches is available on its website – with the remaining 17 N&P branches to be rebranded to YBS in due course.
YBS has outlined a process by which N&P current account customers will be assisted amid the closure of their accounts, and says it'll "work with affected customers and will contact them to outline what these proposals mean for their specific circumstances".
It's worth pointing out that N&P isn't a member of the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) so if you move to a new current account provider you may not benefit from any cash rewards or bonuses, switching could take longer and you won't be covered by the CASS guarantee – but you can still arrange to switch by speaking to your chosen replacement provider.
For our pick of the UK's top current accounts and the rewards, cashback and bonuses they offer, check out our Best Bank Accounts guide.
My current account is with N&P – what will happen?
YBS told us it will adopt the following process for all N&P current account customers:
- It will write to customers to provide details of how they can switch or close their accounts, along with information specific to their personal circumstances.
- It will direct customers to the Money Advice Service for impartial advice about current accounts.
- Once a customer has chosen a new current account provider they would need to provide it with their N&P current account details (this will be what's known as a 'manual switch' as N&P isn't signed up to the CASS).
- N&P will give the new provider details of any regular payments so these can be set up on the new account.
- It will arrange to transfer any account balance to the new account, and then close the N&P account when the customer or new provider asks it to do so.
- For personal accounts, all benefits such as free card usage abroad, Visa debit card and cheque payments, Sentinel Gold cover, overdraft and fee-free buffer will continue until the accounts are closed.
- Customers are requested to close their N&P current accounts before 31 August 2017.
What happens to my N&P mortgage?
Existing N&P mortgages will continue unchanged – your current term and any fixed interest rates will be honoured and your mortgage will remain branded as 'N&P.' You'll continue to manage the account by phone, as is already the case. If you never switch away, your N&P mortgage will continue until it's repaid or the term ends.
But N&P is withdrawing its mortgages from sale imminently and closing its books to any new borrowing – which means if you later want to borrow more by increasing the mortgage amount, the 'additional lending' portion of the mortgage will be arranged and managed by YBS.
If you've already applied to open an N&P mortgage in recent hours or days, your application won't automatically be declined and will be processed and looked at in the normal way. However, the mortgages will soon be closed to new applications.
What happens to my savings?
Savings accounts and products will become YBS-branded products, with fixed interest rates honoured. The phone number you use to manage your savings will change, and this will be communicated to you by letter.
What about my insurance policy bought through N&P?
As with most banks and building societies which offer insurance, N&P simply serves as the face of your insurance policy – the product itself is actually underwritten and operated by a specialist insurance provider (this is what's known as 'white labelling').
In N&P's case, its insurance products are provided by RSA or Legal & General. Insurance policies sold through N&P will continue unchanged and the underlying insurance company will be your port of call when managing your policy or making a claim in future. Check your policy wording for info on which company underwrites your product.
What about my credit card?
While N&P no longer offers credit cards, it used to issue N&P-branded MBNA cards, and some of these are still in use. These cards remain valid, your account with MBNA remains and MBNA continues to be where you should direct queries relating to the card.
What does the YBS say?
Mike Regnier, chief executive of YBS, says: "The Norwich & Peterborough brand has been part of Yorkshire Building Society since 2011, and inevitably, some of our colleagues and members will be disappointed by these proposals.
"The values of the N&P and Yorkshire brands are synonymous and we believe operating with Yorkshire Building Society as our sole high street brand would allow us to run the business more effectively and efficiently, enabling us to deliver better products and services for our members.
"These proposals would help us achieve that aim and further reinforce Yorkshire's position as one of the most trusted financial services providers in the UK."