Professional Services News

200 jobs at risk in Cheltenham as Yorkshire Building Society proposes closure of customer service centre

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Written by: Matthew Calderbank | Posted 01 December 2017 8:10

200 jobs at risk in Cheltenham as Yorkshire Building Society proposes closure of customer service centre

Two hundred jobs could be axed as Yorkshire Building Society announces proposals to close its Cheltenham office within the next two years.

The Yorkshire Building Society Group are proposing a 'phased closure' of the Charlton Kings administrative office which will see staff numbers reduced gradually over two years.

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Building Society said the proposal 'reflects shifts in market conditions'.

The spokesperson said: "We have appointed a dedicated team to link the skills and experience of colleagues at risk of redundancy with vacancies across the Group.

"We appreciate that relocation may not be a practical option for many colleagues. If the proposals go ahead, we would do everything possible to help our people who do not wish to move to find an alternative role elsewhere."

Work currently done at this site will move to offices in Bradford and Peterborough. The company confirmed that staff at Charlton Kings will be offered assistance in finding alternative roles and redeployment to other offices.

However, the organisation acknowledges that most staff will be unable to relocate to Bradford or Peterborough.

A spokesperson for the building society said: "We know it's disappointing but we will endeavor to assist our staff by speaking to similar employers in the area and identifying alternative employment opportunities."

The Charlton Kings office was formerly operated by Chelsea Building Society until they merged with Yorkshire Building Society in 2010 but is only running at two-thirds capacity.

Yorkshire Building Society is a mutual company which is owned by its shareholders and customers.

A spokesperson said: "Because we are owned by our customers we have a responsibility to use our members' money efficiently.

"All of our profit is reinvested back into the company and we strive to be careful with our money and spend it responsibly."

The move comes amid organisational restructuring which sees the building society expanding its high street presence.

The Group is planning to increase the size of its national high street network over the next three years which will see new branches open across the country.

Mike Regnier, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Building Society Group, said: “As a mutual organisation, we must think very carefully about how we use our members’ money.

"We have more capacity for office-based colleagues than we need, and consolidating our sites will make us more efficient as a business and allow us to invest more into our products and services.

"This proposal reflects the most efficient way for the Group to structure its activities. Our colleagues at Charlton Kings have been an integral part of the Group and have made an excellent contribution to our achievements over the past seven years.

“If the proposals go ahead, we would do everything we can to support our people in finding an alternative role within the Group or elsewhere.

"For colleagues who wish to move, we’ve established a relocation package to broaden the options available and appointed a dedicated team to link the skills and experience of colleagues at risk of redundancy with vacancies across the Group.

“As relocation may not be a practical option for many colleagues, all of those who are at risk of redundancy will receive specialist internal and external support to help them transition into different roles.

“If the proposals go ahead, we would contact other similar employers in the Cheltenham area to put our people in touch with any opportunities which may match their skills.”

As well as the Charlton Kings office, there are also plans to close 13 high street branches in towns and cities where there is more than one branch whilst opening dozens of new branches in locations under-served by the building society.

The building society hopes to have 300 branches across the UK by 2020.

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