St Helens branch of Yorkshire Building Society saved from closure

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Staff at a local building society are celebrating after escaping the axe in the latest round of closures.

More than 400 jobs are under threat at Yorkshire Building Society Group after it announced plans to shut 48 branches and axe the Norwich & Peterborough (N&P) brand from the high street.

The group said it would also close N&P current accounts - impacting around 100,000 customers - under a move to focus solely on mortgages and savings.

Yorkshire Building Society said 440 jobs were at risk as part of the overhaul, but added it hopes to redeploy some staff affected to other areas.

However the branch in Church Street, St Helens is to stay open.

The overhaul will bring down the curtain on the Norwich & Peterborough (N&P) brand after 157 years and group said it will phase out the brand and shut the current account over the next year.

It plans to shut 20 Yorkshire Building Society branches in May and 28 N&P branches from September, leaving the group with 160 branches and 100 agencies.

Just 17 of the original N&P branches will remain open after the restructure.

It comes after HSBC revealed on Tuesday that nearly 400 jobs were at risk under aims to slash its IT staff and close 62 branches across the UK.

Mike Regnier, chief executive of Yorkshire Building Society, said: “The driving forces behind the proposed branch closures are shifts in market conditions and an increasing desire among customers to transact digitally rather than on the high street.

The job losses are expected over the next 18 months.