Saffron Building Sociey to close its Dunmow branch

The Saffron Building Society office in Dunmow, which will close its doors for the final time this Ju

The Saffron Building Society office in Dunmow, which will close its doors for the final time this July. Picture: GOOGLE - Credit: Archant

Elderly residents who rely on public transport could be left ‘high and dry’ by the closure of the Saffron Building Society branch in Great Dunmow, a customer has claimed.

The building society has announced it will be closing its Dunmow office this year, on July 13.

Explaining the decision, Saffron Building Society chief executive officer Colin Field said there is a decline in people using ‘physical branches’ as customers move to online and mobile banking.

Mr Field said: “Following a recent review of our branches we have taken the difficult decision to close our Great Dunmow branch. Like many banks and building societies the way customers are choosing to deal with us is changing. As more and more customers across all banks and building societies move to online and mobile banking, there is a decline in the use of physical branches. We are not immune from this change.

“As a result our Great Dunmow branch will close on July 13 2019. Customers can continue to visit the branch until this date and do not need to take any action.

“We understand that this news may be concerning to some customers but would like to reassure them that their accounts will continue to be serviced at nearby, alternative branches including Halstead, Saffron Walden and Bishop’s Stortford. We would like to thank our customers for their continued support.”

Dunmow resident Michael Coleman and Saffron Building Society customer expressed dismay at the closure. He said that as ‘others have deserted our town’ the building society has “been the saviour”.

Most Read

Mr Coleman went on: “The elderly and young all look to the branch as the place where they can walk in and draw cash, talk to a friendly face and get advice. The Great Dunmow community support and value the building society, but the majority will transfer their accounts elsewhere. I visit the branch at least twice a week to deposit or draw cash, I meet with staff each year to evaluate my savings and manage them.”

Speaking about the possibility of Dunmow customers using other branches, Mr Coleman said: “Halstead is 45 minutes’ drive in each direction plus parking is not easy. Added to which the elderly who rely on public transport are left high and dry. I could see some sense in moving Dunmow accounts to Bishop’s Stortford which is on a bus route, although even then one would have to change at Stansted Airport. But Halstead with no direct public transport is just not justifiable.”

Customers can also contact Saffron Building Society by phone, post and some of their accounts are accessible online. Anyone wishing to register for online access can call 0800 072 1100.