BM to chop branch network by 48

Birmingham Midshires is poised to pull the plug on 48 of its 67 branches through a phased programme that is scheduled to conclude in March next year.

Following the conclusion of the programme, existing BM branch-based customers will have the option of banking at their nearest Halifax branch. The majority of these are situated within 300 metres of BM branches.

All BM’s mortgage business is already conducted through direct and intermediary channels, with mortgages last being offered in BM’s branches in 2003. And some 98% of the company’s new savings business is done by post or telephone.

BM became part of the Halifax Group in April 1999 with savings balances of 5.9bn and mortgage assets of 9.2bn.

The lender’s savings balances have since doubled to 12bn and mortgage assets have more than trebled to over 32bn.

The company stresses it is not closing any branches where it is the only banking provider in town.

Nigel Stockton, managing director of BM, says: “This is the right decision for Birmingham Midshires and its customers.

“Most of our customers, who do not require a branch service, will be able to operate their accounts by telephone, post or via the internet.”