Soham and Burwell will lose its Cambridge Building societies in June as £3 million ‘digital future’ investment takes hold

The Cambridge Building Society.Soham. Picture: Steve Williams.

The Cambridge Building Society.Soham. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Soham and Burwell will lose their Cambridge Building Society branches as a result of a £3 million three-year investment plan focusing on digital progress.

The Soham branch opened in April 1996 and relocated in September 2003, while the Burwell branch opened in December 1997.

Five staff could be impacted and many customers will become branch-less by June.

Andy Lucas, chief operating officer, assured the scheme “is not a redundancy programme.”

Instead, where possible, the company will find other opportunities for staff members.

“It’s about investing to grow the company for the future,” he said.

“Quite a lot of our team already work in a flexible way. They are not tied to a particular branch.

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“Some customers will be disappointed that they will lose their local branch too, but we will be writing to them about how to manage their accounts before and after the closures.”

Team members were briefed last week about the changes.

He said the investment aims to turn networks into “contemporary destinations offering a full range of advice-based and self-service options in comfortable and vibrant surroundings”.

To be able to do this, digital workshops will be introduced for staff, in response to queries from customers who are increasingly viewing their accounts on mobile devices.

Stephen Mitcham, chief executive, said: “The changes reiterate the commitment The Cambridge has to the region and the communities in which it operates.

“We’re working very closely with the team members affected by the changes to identify other opportunities for them and will continue to invest heavily in training and development to keep knowledge and skills up to date.

“We’ve been adapting to member needs for over 160 years and we need to continue to do the same now.

“Investment decisions were taken following a full strategic review that considered the changing needs of existing members whilst ensuring future customers were catered for too.

“Customer feedback indicated that face to face advice and guidance remains critical, but that there was also a growing demand for more self-service options that made better use of the range of technologies now available to consumers.”

“Although we have a big programme change ahead of us, it would be foolish to ignore our heritage and the values that make up what The Cambridge is all about.

“We’ll continue our vast community programme that supports the important work charities and community groups do in our local area and continue to play a role in the success of the Cambridge economy by employing local people and supporting local home ownership through our flexible approach to lending.”