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Vernon Building Society turns 100

Vernon Building Society turns 100 on March 27 2024 and is proud to have the same values as it did back in 1924. Most notable is the provision of personal service for each one of its Members and an unwavering commitment to the high street, where it would consider opening new branches if there was demand.

Data from consumer rights group Which? reveals that banks and building societies have closed 5,818 branches since January 2015, which represents more than half the branches that were open at the start of 2015.

However, while other banks and building societies are disappearing from high streets, the Stockport mutual remains dedicated to the communities it serves and is mid-way through a £1.1m investment into its high street branch network. This includes its refurbished St Petersgate HQ in the centre of Stockport due to be completed in February 2024.

Such is its commitment to personal service for Members that instead of using an automated answering system, the Vernon continues to have real people based in its HQ answering its phones.

The personal touch extends to creating dedicated teams to support Members. In 2017, the Vernon established an Intermediaries Team to better support mortgage brokers. The Vernon is proud to individually assess and underwrite each mortgage case so it can say yes to borrowers who would often find themselves excluded from mainstream lending.

The Vernon’s dedication to their Members and partners is paying off, with the Society seeing growth last year of 14.1% on customer deposits and 10.4% on the mortgage book.

Vernon Building Society Chief Executive Steve Fletcher says: “For 100 years, we’ve been delivering a personal service through our branch network, and we hope to do so for the next century.

“We’re absolutely committed to the high street. It’s why we’re bucking the trend by investing in our branches while others are closing them, and also by refusing to use automated answering services and overseas call centres.

“I can also reveal that we’re open to potential new branch locations, collaborations and banking hubs in the future.”

To mark its 100-year milestone, Vernon Building Society has launched the Vernon Charitable Foundation. Set up with more than £100,000 in the fund, it marks a step change in the

Vernon’s charitable giving which aims to support local enterprise and grass-roots charitable work based in Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

As part of its centenary celebrations, The Vernon is also teaming up with a respected historian to reveal some of its rich history.  It hopes to uncover more about the Society’s founder, the pivotal role it had supporting returning WWII soldiers to buy their own home in 1945 and how it helped Members financially survive the 2008 economic downturn.

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About Vernon Building Society Vernon Building Society is a local, independent building society based in Stockport. The Society has been helping borrowers and savers since 1924 and has built a strong reputation as the preferred choice for mortgages and savings in Stockport and beyond. With branches in Bramhall, Hazel Grove, Marple, Poynton, Reddish and St Petersgate, Stockport, the Vernon supports charities, schools, teams, and clubs within the community. The Society works hard to be an employer of choice, investing in local talent to provide the best service to its Members. Working closely with mortgage intermediaries, they offer innovative and bespoke lending solutions to first-time buyers, homemovers, remortgagors, retired borrowers, buy-to-let landlords and self-build clients.

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