Building Societies pledge to keep savings books while Lloyds seeks to abolish them

For many, with the rise of digital banking, owning a savings account is both practical and nostalgic.

A simple book of money going in, going out, and interest earned, the humble savings account has been a mainstay of savings accounts for generations.

And almost three in four members of the Leeds Building Society would prefer to use savings accounts to manage their savings, according to a poll.

As a result, one of the UK’s largest mutuals has reassured its customers that savings accounts will remain.

End of an era:

End of an era: Lloyds Bank wants to delete 2.6 million savings accounts

This comes at a time when Lloyds is preparing plans to scrap millions of savings accounts used by customers at its Halifax office.

Certain passbook accounts will be replaced by Instant Saver, Instant Isa Saver and Kids’ Saver accounts, all of which offer mobile banking and ATM cards.

Santander also got rid of savings accounts, as did Barclays when it bought Woolwich, and Nationwide is no longer offering new savings accounts.

Activists fear Lloyds’ move will discriminate against older people and pave the way for more store closures.

But it’s not just older people who want to keep their savings books – research from the Leeds Building Society shows that 58 per cent of savers aged 16-44 would prefer to use savings books to manage their accounts, making up the majority of customers who want to keep them.

Passbook savings accounts have a physical notebook that allows the account holder to record their deposits and withdrawals.

The Newcastle Building Society is another building society that offers savings books and pass cards to all branch customers and accounts for around 200,000 savings bank members or about 54 per cent of its savers.

A spokesman for the Newcastle Building Society says: “Customers keep telling us how much they value the traditional savings account because it helps them be connected and in control of their savings.”

“We’ve seen that when competitors stop offering savings accounts, we typically see a surge in account openings from customers who prefer a more tangible way to keep track of their money.”

“As a member-owned organization, we place a high value on savings bookkeeping, as well as a warm welcome, security, and a range of services that you can only find by visiting your local branch.”

“That’s why we’re investing in our branch network and, unlike other providers, are determined to improve access to financial services – especially where banks have closed.”

The Yorkshire Building Society also confirmed that its industry-based products, including fixed rate ISAS and fixed rate bonds, offer savings accounts.

“I have the feeling that my generation has not been forgotten”

David Marr, 62, is a Newcastle Building Society customer from the Ponteland branch in Newcastle who uses a savings book.

David says, “I like being able to see what’s in the account at a glance if I need to.” I’m 62 now and always grew up with a savings account. Call me old fashioned but I like being able to keep using it.

“I also like meeting the employees in the branch and talking to them regularly.”

“I feel like I haven’t been forgotten and that my generation hasn’t been forgotten.” It’s the personal touch that means a lot to me.

Once again a bank cancels savings accounts

“I trust Lloyds Banking Group is prepared for a customer backlash over the closure of more than three million savings accounts,” writes Jeff Prestridge.

Although many banks and building societies have already phased out these books, they remain popular with savers who prefer going in-store to online.

They are particularly popular with older people, who take comfort in the fact that the book gives them clear evidence of how much money they have in their accounts.

Most Lloyds savings accounts are collected between October and the end of the year.

Read more: Lloyds Bank faces backlash for scrapping savings accounts

“I find it very sad that it feels like the end of an era of savings accounts where larger banks are getting rid of them.”

“The Newcastle Building Society stands out to me in this regard as they are opening more branches and allowing their members to continue using savings accounts.”

Richard Fearon, Managing Director of Leeds Building Society, says: “Passbooks are an important way for many savers to have complete control of their money and we want to encourage this as much as possible.

“Many members are very sensitive to their savings accounts and have told us that if we decided to withdraw them they would look elsewhere and we have no intention of doing so.”

“Anyone who opens a savings account in one of our branches can take a savings book with them straight away.”

“Obviously, if preferences change significantly over time, we’ll need to look at them again, but given sentiment among younger savers, we see no sign of that happening any time soon.”

James Daley, managing director of Fairer Finance, comments: “It’s great that building societies are offering savings accounts as an option for those who want it.”

“But it’s inevitable that these accounts will fall in demand as more people move to do all their banking online, and it’s no surprise companies like Halifax are phasing them out.”

“It’s clearly expensive to run a branch network and it’s unsustainable to maintain it for a shrinking customer base.”

“However, it is crucial that banks and building societies, as they transition to a more digital banking world, are careful not to exclude people who have no other choice.”

“There are still many people who are digitally excluded or who do not have access to digital banking because of their disability.”

“It’s important that banks and building societies find ways to continue serving these customers and not penalize them with lower interest rates.”

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on this, we may earn a small commission. This helps us fund This Is Money and keep it free to use. We don’t write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to compromise our editorial independence.

Drew Weisholtz

Drew Weisholtz is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Drew Weisholtz joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

Related Articles

Back to top button