A new cross-party group of MPs and Peers has called for firms, finance experts and others to share their ideas on how consumer access to financial services can be improved. The All-Party Group on Challenger Banks and Building Societies issued this call ahead of its oral evidence session on Thursday 15th November. The APPG will be taking evidence from David Marlow, Chief Executive of the Nottingham Building Society and Joseph Lane of the CAB into the problems that consumers face in accessing banking services.
The parliamentary group is made up of cross-party MPs and Peers, many who have been involved with the changes to the UK’s regulatory regime following the financial crash. They will be seeking to understand whether post-crash financial regulation is to blame for the continued dominance of the major banks and what action should be taken by regulators to improve competition. The access paper will form the first part of a series of detailed reports which will be published from January 2019.
This call for evidence is the first in a series that the group will be issuing and will shortly be followed by a call for evidence on diversity in financial services.
David Marlow, Chief Executive, Nottingham Building Society commented:
“We’re delighted to be able to share with MPs and Peers, the work we’ve been doing on growing our branch network. We’ve previously published reports which found that high streets and market towns are hugely affected by the closing of nearby branches and branches that are solely focused on transactional offerings have a limited future.
We believe strongly that branches can have a positive impact on communities in the UK if their role is reinvented to become more relevant to what customers want. Our branch proposition has evolved to offer a wider range of advice-led services including mortgage comparison, estate agency services, lettings and financial advice services and seen footfall increase by around 10% as a result. Banks and building societies need to do more to try and prevent more branches from closing, and the industry should start by looking at the services offered and making sure they are more relevant to the needs of people today.”
Robin Fieth, Chief Executive, Building Societies Association (BSA) commented:
“Consumers are best served by a financial services sector which offers a choice of providers which approach the way they do business differently. The fact that building societies are owned by their savers and borrowers makes a huge difference in how they make decisions and which decisions they make. They were the original challenger institutions and we are delighted to be involved in this new All Party Parliamentary Group and its inquiry.”
Kemi Badenoch MP commented:
“Many MPs and Peers have been concerned that changes to the high street may mean that local people lose access to vital financial services. We’re trying to understand the factors driving the change and we’re interested to hear from organisations that are bucking the trend and others. We plan to publish a detailed report and recommendations for action to inform HM Treasury and regulators on how they can help consumers access financial services.”
Challenger Banks and Building Societies APPG Contact:
Notes to editors
- A detailed call for evidence is available on the APPG’s website: https://www.cbbsappg.org.uk/terms-reference/
- The CBBS APPG is taking both oral and written evidence with a deadline of 5pm on the 14th December 2018.
- The APPG’s first oral evidence session on access to banking services will take place on the 15th
- Kemi Badenoch is the MP for Saffron Walden. Further biographical details can be found here: https://www.saffronwaldenconservatives.com/kemibadenochmp
- Details of the Nottingham Building Society’s work around branches can be found here: https://www.thenottingham.com/news/nottingham-building-society-opens-seven-new-branches/
- The CBBS APPG’s aims and objectives are set out on the parliamentary register for APPGs and are: To review the regulations of the banking and financial sector and to promote fair competition, removing entry barriers and encouraging diversity of service.”