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Yorkshire unclear if both broker brands will remain

Yorkshire Building Society chief executive Iain Cornish says no decision has been reached as yet on whether the merged group will retain both Accord Mortgages and Chelsea Intermediary Service.

Speaking to Money Marketing today, Cornish said that following the deal with Chelsea Building Society, Yorkshire would not be looking at further mergers in the forseeable future as he will be focused on the integration, leaving “no room on the agenda” for anything else.

Under the merger, which must be approved by members, both building society brands would remain in the branch network.

He said the society is aiming to make cost savings of between £35-40m per year through cutting out duplication, although it would take about 18 months for these savings to be achieved.

Cornish said it is not yet clear how many job cuts would result, although there is little duplication in the branch network.

As part of the merger Yorkshire is strengthening its capital position by £200m, through debt conversion, which Cornish said has already been agreed by bondholders.

Cornish said: “The intermediary brands require a little bit more thinking about. But, because of the financial strength of the combined society, because of the strong funding position, we will be in a position to extend lending activities and that’s obviously something we are very keen to do.

“We have always been a strong supporter of the intermediary market at that is something we want to continue with.”

Cornish would not say whether or not the combined society would be likely to cut back its broker support team, but he said: “We will do whatever is necessary to make sure we provide a good service to intermediaries.”

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