A name that’s been in Reigate for over 160 years will be no more from October, when the Holmesdale Building Society is rebranded as Skipton, following a merger.
Holmesdale has only one branch, in Church Street, a site the society has occupied since its founding in 1855.
Skipton has committed to keep the branch open for at least two years, after which it will be subject to Skipton’s normal ongoing review process.
Skipton is the UK’s fourth largest building society, with 87 branches.
The merger is due to take effect on 1 October, and planning permission has been granted for new Skipton signage.
Branch staff will be kept on, but some management and admin roles are being included in a redundancy process as part of the handover.
The merger was approved by Holmesdale’s members at their annual general meeting in July. Of those voting, 79% of savers backed the plan, and 88% of borrowers.
Writing to members after the vote, Joanne Hindle, chairman of the Holmesdale, said
“The Board of your Society has always sought to put the interests of members first and strongly believes Skipton is the ideal merger partner for the Holmesdale.
The union will bring benefits associated with a stronger and larger mutual building society.”
Prior to the vote, Holmesdale said it was competing in an increasingly tough mortgage market, and in an operating environment that was continuing to drive up costs.
Following a review, the board decided to seek a merger with a stronger society which could offer a wider product range and better value for members.
The board also concluded that with the society in a sound and profitable position, this was the time to look at such a tie-up.