Published: 3 November 2021
From 22 November, Darlington Building Society will be changing its branch opening hours to better reflect members’ needs, improve community engagement and support staff wellbeing.
As part of its Community Strategy the Society reviewed how and when members most use its nine branches, are adjusting their opening hours in line with member demand.
Staffing levels will be increased during peak times to improve the service to members whilst safeguarding staff wellbeing by sharing workloads.
The changes will be enabled by the creation last month of nine new jobs by the Society.
All branches will now be open on a Saturday from 9am to 1pm to support member visiting patterns, whilst also enabling local charities and groups to use the branch space at a convenient time.
Andrew Craddock, Chief Executive at Darlington Building Society comments: “The rebalancing of our branch opening hours has been carefully considered from all angles. We are confident that these changes will deliver a better, faster service for our members.
“It’s no secret that high streets are being used differently these days. We have certainly witnessed a shift in how our branches are being used. Although branches remain fully operational, interactions are becoming less transactional and more about member experience, such as financial wellbeing guidance, pensions information, savings reviews and mortgage advice.
“Our branches are also thriving community hubs, where local groups and charities can come together. Our Society is so much more than a financial institution. Being connected to our region is really important to us and to our staff. The new opening hours will strengthen that community bond.
“This is also about staff wellbeing. Effective staffing levels will minimise stress during our busiest periods, and staff will also be able to better engage with local charities and community groups.
“For most of our branches, the changes will be minimal. Our Darlington (Tubwell Row) and Northallerton branches will see some larger changes, but the bigger picture is that branches will work much better for members, local communities and of course our branch staff.”
The new opening hours for all branches (except Barnard Castle and Yarm) will be
9am – 4pm Monday to Friday (9.30am opening Tuesday).
Barnard Castle and Yarm will be 9.30am – 2.30pm Monday to Friday.
All branches will be open 9am – 1pm Saturday, and all branches will continue to be closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.