Based in the heart of Bramhall village for decades, Vernon Building Society is the first port of call for many residents looking for savings accounts or mortgages. I Love Bramhall met up with customer service manager Neil Heppenstall to find out more about the building society that was founded in Stockport almost 100 years ago and continues to flourish in the present day.
Located on Woodford Road next door to popular Italian eatery Romulus, the Vernon has been a feature of the local landscape for more than 30 years. Some of our residents might remember visiting as children and picking up a teddy bear-shaped money box when opening a junior savings account – the coin bank is still given to children today, and so the tradition continues through the generations.
The distinctive Vernon bear is the mascot for Stockport County Football Club, which the building society generously sponsors – also donating £10,000 annually to charities as part of its Community Awards scheme. The Award scheme is currently open and we encourage any local not-for-profit organisation to apply for the chance to win a share of this donation. Locally, the Bramhall branch gets behind community events like the Duck Race and Bramhall Festival and is always happy to lend a hand when it comes to supporting charitable ventures.
But it’s not only good causes and community events that Vernon Building Society supports – the business is committed to helping our local residents, too, by providing first-rate financial products that serve their individual needs. Unlike banks, building societies do not have shareholders, so the corporate aims are different. The society is run for the benefit of its members, with profits being reinvested rather than divvied out among stakeholders.
Vernon Building Society takes a flexible approach to mortgage lending; decisions are made by experienced underwriters rather than computers. This allows The Vernon to offer unique products in niche sectors such as Retirement Interest only, Family Assist and Self Build mortgages. There are in-branch mortgage advisers on hand too, ready and willing to give out tailored advice.
The Vernon prides itself on being a friendly, local building society that aims to help customers in the community. Members of staff are approachable and ready to listen, ensuring that each customer receives the best levels of service. It’s clearly an effective approach: the society has grown to encompass six branches over the years – including Bramhall and the headquarters in Stockport town centre – and was nominated in the national Moneyfacts Awards for its first-time buyer mortgages.
Fully regulated and committed to responsible lending, the Vernon caters for a broad clientele. Many customers have been with the Bramhall branch for years, associating the Society with the qualities of consistency and personal service. Being able to use the traditional pass book to keep track of their savings is handy for people who prefer to have physical rather than online records, while youngsters like using the book to watch their savings add up in real, tangible terms. The Vernon also offers a range of online services, satisfying growing demand for digital engagement.
With savings accounts available for customers from birth onwards, and life expectancy ever increasing, it’s never been more important for youngsters to learn both the value of money and the importance of saving for the future. As such, the Vernon is planning to introduce financial teaching in schools over the next year and will be popping in to local educational establishments to help our youngest residents develop an awareness of money matters.
Currently, the business is focusing on some special in-branch deals: Vernon Building Society is offering 10% off buildings and contents insurance bundles and has also committed to topping up Help to Buy ISAs by an extra 10% on top of the money added by the government, provided the mortgage is taken with the society- so if you’re planning to get on to the property ladder, now could be a great time to do so.
Deals change every so often so it’s worthwhile keeping up with the Vernon’s latest promotions to see if anything comes up to sweeten the financial deals you’re planning in the future – you can connect with The Vernon on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Watch this space for news of a mortgage open day in September but until then, you can get in touch with Vernon Building Society for more information using the links below.
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