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Mutual friends to welcome each other&#39s members

Britannia and Yorkshire building societies are launching a branch-sharing initiative to allow their members to use either company&#39s branches.

More than two million members of Britannia and 1.8 million members of the Yorkshire will be able to pay in or withdraw money free of charge from a range of savings and mortgage accounts at branches of both societies.

The scheme, MutualPlus, is designed to offer customers living in remote and smaller areas the option to conduct their business as locally as possible, although Yorkshire and Britannia say they have no plans to sell each other&#39s products.

They are currently in talks with other societies about extending the partnership, which they developed after research they commissioned showed more than 80 per cent of members would rather go to a branch than use the internet.

Yorkshire chief executive David Anderson says: “Our members tell us they want face-to-face service but, in today&#39s economic climate, opening a new branch has huge cost implications. The link-up between ourselves and Britannia is a win-win solution giving real added value to our members.”

Building Societies Association external affairs manager Jennifer Holloway says: “As many building societies are regionally based, branch sharing makes sense as they are often not in competition with each other. I know other mutuals are interested in getting involved but I think they will wait to see how successful this turns out to be before making a decision.”

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