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Plight of rural society branches

Former building societies which have converted to banks are more likely to close rural branches than their mutual competitors, says a report from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

The report, The Contribution of British Building Societies to Financial Inclusion, commissioned by the Building Societies Association, concludes that societies are more likely to maintain a rural branch presence while former societies are generally more aggressive in closing branches.

BSA director general Adrian Coles says the report is encouraging and clearly demonstrates societies are acting in members&#39 interests.

Nationwide spokesman Steve Cowdry says: “This study confirms the commitment of mutuals to serving their members, not shareholders. We are continuing to expand our branch network which we believe serves our members most effectively.”

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