The Nottingham building society has announced proposals to close four of its estate agency only branches - three of which are in Northampton.
Over the past five years the society has increased its number of branches from 32 to over 60, as it has developed its ’all under one roof’ strategy, which offers building society services, mortgage advice, estate agency, financial planning and estate planning services to its members.
However, the four branches proposed for closure - Bushmead Luton, Duston, East Hunsbury and Northampton - operate as estate agency offices only and, if plans go forward, would close in early May.
Nottingham Estate Agency and Harrison Murray estate agency are part of the Nottingham Building Society.
David Marlow, chief executive officer, said: “It is with sadness that we are proposing the closure of a small number of our estate agency branches.
"The decision on whether to close a location is never an easy one however as a mutual organisation we sometimes have to make difficult decisions about where we invest in members’ interests for the long-term success of the society as a whole.
"We are not immune to the challenging estate agency market, which has already impacted some of the biggest industry names, and where an estate agency branch is not profitable or performing at a loss, and lacks the potential to contribute to our membership growth we have had to make the difficult decision to consider closure. Our key focus at the moment is working closely with employees and customers affected by the changes and providing them with the support they need during this unsettling time.”
There will be around 41 roles affected and The Nottingham has started a period of consultation with the affected employees, seeking to offer alternative employment opportunities to staff wherever possible.
It has also not ruled out talks with interested parties around the future of the branches earmarked for closure.
Following a 'rigorous assessment,' the society has concluded that these four locations do not have sufficient potential to justify adding building society services.
The financial performance of the estate agency-only branches, it adds, have recently been below par.
This year, The Nottingham has said it has seen large traditional estate agencies and emerging online models announcing branch closures, reduced income forecasts and large losses.
Branch customers affected by the proposed changes are being contacted over the coming days advising any action they need to take or the options open to them. “Our plans have ensured that they should not be affected by these planned closures,” added Mr Marlow.
If you are a customer of one of the affected locations and have a query, call 0344 481 4444.