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Coronavirus – we’re here to give you the help and support you might need

The impact of the Government’s actions to control the Coronavirus outbreak is developing daily, and we know that you might be worried about the impact this could have on your finances.

We’re working hard to protect our colleagues and want to keep them at home as much as possible to support the national effort to contain the spread of the virus. To help us do this, we’re focussing on delivering only the critical services our customers need the most and prioritising those in financial difficulty at this time.

This page provides you with lots of useful information and to enable us to be able to deliver the essential services, we ask that you please read this page in full before contacting us by phone, writing to us or visiting your local branch.

Current critical services

Savings

  • For those experiencing financial difficulty, we can enable early access to savings if required. Please get in touch with us so we can discuss your needs with you.
  • New savings accounts can continue to be opened online or in branch, however we ask you only visit us in branch if it is essential
  • Bank transfers to your nominated bank account
  • Fixed-term accounts, or those coming to the end of a rate incentive is an automatic process and you will be notified of account balance in the post
  • We’re processing any urgent account changes or changes in circumstances of the account holder
  • WeBSave customers can continue to access accounts via the online portal. From here, you can manage your account and make transfers anytime. We’d ask that you use the portal for any queries first and only call us if your enquiry is urgent as we’re currently experiencing an increasing volume of calls.
  • Third-party cash withdrawals so family members can collect money on your behalf. The maximum cash withdrawal is £500 for third-party withdrawals. Please click here to download our Third Party Withdrawal Form. The protection and safety of members’ finances is of the utmost importance to us so additional safety checks will be in place to ensure that any transfers or withdrawals are legitimate.

Mortgages

  • Mortgage completion, so you will still receive the funds for your new home
  • Mortgage redemption for those who have come to end of their term, those moving home or switching to another lender
  • Product transfers are still available so that you can change to a different product with us. Please note this can be done on our online portal and we’d ask all customers to look at this and only call us if your call is essential
  • If you need to add or cease a mortgage overpayment please use our Live Chat service
Mortgage Payment Holidays

New applications

We can offer payment holidays to customers who have been financially impacted due to the Coronavirus. This help allows members to reduce or defer their mortgage payments for up to three months if needed. Customers have until 31 October to apply for a payment holiday.

For those who would like to apply for a payment holiday, you can do so using our online form. The online form cannot be used by customers who already have a payment holiday in place. Please be aware that we are experiencing a high number of applications and we would ask that you allow us time to process your request. You can expect to hear from us within 10 working days and in most cases, we will only have to contact you to discuss your options with you if you’re in arrears.

Reduce or defer mortgage payments

Coming to the end of a Payment Holiday

We will contact you prior to the end of the deferred period to confirm your new monthly payment and the options that may be available to you.

It may help you to prepare for this by making use of some of the guidance and tools provided by the following organisations:

There are also a number of other organisations available to help, simply visit our payment difficulties page to find out more.


Home insurance

We’ve answered the most common questions we’ve received on home insurance in relation to Coronavirus. Please click here to find out more.


Telephone & correspondence services

The Coronavirus outbreak is causing uncertainty for our customers, as a result we are seeing an increase in pressure on our telephone and correspondence services. This is having an impact on those who are in financial difficulty and trying to contact us to get support.

We’d therefore ask that you use the website and online portals in the first instance for any queries, and we’re updating these regularly with the latest information. That way, we can support those in urgent need and financial difficulty quickly and keep the lines clear for those customers.

You can register for our automated telephone service, which will mean you can quickly and securely access your account information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is available for your savings or mortgage account. Please click here to find out more.

Whilst we will prioritise withdrawal requests and deal with them immediately, all other correspondence we receive will be regarded as non critical and we would ask that you bear with us whilst we respond. You can expect to wait longer than you normally would to hear from us whilst we manage through the operational challenges Coronavirus presents for us all.

Support for keyworkers

We know that many keyworkers, such as NHS staff, are struggling to find the time to get help for financial matters. To support these customers, we’re enabling them to be served as a priority on our phone lines by simply selecting the keyworker option at the beginning of the call. We’d ask that customers respect this service and only use if you’re a keyworker so we can all do our bit to help those that need it most.

Branch services

Many of our branches remain open, however all branches are operating on reduced hours. In some cases we may need to temporarily close a branch for the safety of our colleagues and customers. Please use our branch finder to keep up to date with opening times and branch status.

For your own safety, and the safety of our colleagues, we ask that you only come and see us if it is essential and if you’ve been unable to get support from our online or telephone services. We are practising social distancing in all our branches and all customers must stand 2 metres apart. We are also limiting the amount of people in our branches at one time and only allowing customers in when it is safe, so you might be asked to queue outside if it is busy.

Scam calls, texts and emails

There has been an increase of fraudsters using Coronavirus as a front in scam calls, texts and emails. So far, a total of £2,120,870 has been lost as a direct result of Coronavirus-related scams across the UK. Currently, Coronavirus-related frauds make up 3-5% of all fraud reports, and this is expected to rise.

Some of these scams are particularly sophisticated and are using the Government communications via text and email to trick people into paying fines for breaking lockdown. Most recently, fraudsters have been using the Test and Trace programme to get personal information from people. Do not give any information over the phone or via email if you’re not sure that it is the legitimate NHS Test and Trace team.

Please be vigilant about all messages you receive that claim to be from any organisation and do not click any links you’re unsure of. Remember that trusted financial services organisations will never ask you for the following:

  • Ask you to disclose your PIN number or other passwords for your accounts
  • Encourage you to move funds from your own account into a different “safe” account
  • Encourage you to order and pay for UK cash via the phone or internet
  • Charge up-front fees for repayment holidays
  • Make home visits to collect mortgage arrears on your doorstep
  • Demand an immediate payment of mortgage arrears over the phone
  • Demand payment of mortgage arrears via email providing you with a link through which to make payments.

How we're staying Coronavirus (COVID-19) Secure

Important updates

Changes to opening times

Branches

Many of our branches remain open, however from Tuesday 24 March will be operating on reduced hours. Please check your local branch before visiting and only visit us if it’s absolutely necessary.

Check your local branch opening times

Customer services (including WeBSave)

Lines are open 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday – Friday and 09:30am to 12:30pm on Saturday.

Scam calls, texts and emails

There has been an increase of fraudsters using Coronavirus as a front in scam calls, texts and emails. Most recently, fraudsters have been using the Test and Trace programme to get personal information from people. Do not give any information over the phone or via email if you’re not sure that it is the legitimate NHS Test and Trace team. For all information on scams click here.

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