Stockport’s mutual, Vernon Building Society, today held a community event to celebrate and unveil its newly refurbished branch in Hazel Grove. The event was attended by Members, local charity Pure Innovations, Vernon colleagues and its famous mascot, Vernon Bear.
The £150,000 refurbishment has been carried out by local contractors, Monks Morton Design Interiors, Flexible Office and Sharp. Together they have updated and modernised the entire interior and added new digital screens in the window in order to create a better experience for Members and colleagues. The work took six weeks to complete.
The branch, situated on London Road, was first opened in 1979. Vernon’s investment to their busy Hazel Grove branch marks their long-standing commitment to providing face-to-face financial support for its Members. In March of this year the Vernon refurbished its Reddish branch, and it expects to commence the modernisation of the St Petersgate branch in Stockport centre by the end of this year.
Vernon’s branch refurb follows the recent news that NatWest will close 18 of its high street banks this October, signifying a long-term trend from high street banks to shut their physical branches in favour of digital banking.
Steve Fletcher, Chief Executive at the Vernon, said: “I’m delighted to reopen Vernon’s Hazel Grove branch. It looks fantastic, and I’m sure our Members, alongside our colleagues, will value the changes that we’ve made.
“Vernon opened this branch in Hazel Grove 44 years ago, and we’re just as committed as we were back then to providing customer financial support around mortgages and savings.
“Managing one’s finances today can feel more complicated than ever with so much choice and conflicting information out there. We know our Members value walking into a branch to chat with a qualified person, rather than being put on hold in an overseas call centre. That’s why we’re investing in our branches this year and will continue to do so whilst so many other banks and building societies are closing them down.”
At the opening event, long-time Member Mr Winder was asked to cut a ribbon to officially open the newly refurbished branch. Mr Winder has had a personal account with Vernon since 1997 and a Clubs and Charities account since 2010 for his local allotment association. He told guests at the opening event “Thirteen years ago I walked down the high street here to find a bank for our Association and no one would have us. Vernon welcomed me with open arms, and I’ve never looked back. They always have time for you.”
“It’s nice to have a lovely modern branch in the local area to serve the local people. I’ve been a Member for decades and I really value Vernon’s friendly staff and prompt and efficient service.”