Buckingham news: Loyal customers queue as new building society opens

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ENTERPRISE has paid off for the staff at Buckingham’s former Nationwide – as they are all now employed at the newly opened Harpenden branch, in the same premises.

The building society opened its doors on Tuesday – and was inundated with customers.

Area manager Janet Kerrison said: “The customers are so loyal. They’ve waited three months. Some of them have had cheques in their pocket for three months and they haven’t taken them elsewhere – they’ve waited.

“We didn’t stop all day, we didn’t even have lunch. They were queuing out the door.”

The Nationwide closed its Buckingham agency on December 31, leaving the town without a building society.

Manager Sue Callingham, who worked there for 20 years, said staff first learned of the planned closure in the Sunday papers.

“We were devastated when we found out,” she said. “We were absolutely gutted.”

But rather than sit back, she got straight on the phone to other building society head offices to see if they’d be interested in opening up in the town.

The Harpenden was keen, having already taken over two former Nationwide agencies in Wendover and Tring.

And after a frustrating three-month wait for a lease to be agreed, the former Nationwide staff are finally able to serve their loyal customers again.

Mrs Kerrison said: “Now they can get on with doing everything they’ve done well for so many years.”