Is Having a Local Branch Important When Choosing a Lender?

Local branches for lenders are becoming rarer. Some banks and building societies are closing a lot of their branches due to the cost and encouraging their customers to take part in online or telephone banking instead. These tend to replace the more old fashioned postal accounts, although some of these still exist as well. Some people have no problem with dealing with their lender like this, but there are others that prefer to have a local branch. It is worth considering the benefits of having a local branch before you dismiss it as an old fashioned factor to consider.

There are some benefits in being able to go into a branch and discuss things with someone face to face. You are more likely to get something resolved then and there and you can go in daily and ask about something that is not sorted out straight away. You may be able to get to know the staff members there as well and you may feel more comfortable talking to someone that knows you about any concerns you have rather than someone on the phone that you do not know.

Some people do not like making telephone calls. It can be easier talking face to face and a telephone call can be more difficult. It is not so easy to convey your emotions or to always explain things properly over the telephone and so some people feel a lot better doing it face to face. Some people just get a little nervous using the phone or others do not like talking to call centres and feel that they do not get a very personal service this way or do not like being on hold while waiting to speak to someone, but would rather queue in a branch.

Online banking is used by a lot of people but many feel that it is not secure enough for their liking. They would rather speak to someone at a branch and feel that the information that they are giving is more secure that way. There are also those that are not confident using a computer and so do not want to use it for their banking or they may just not have a computer at all. Others find that email or online messaging is not a method that they would feel comfortable using to communicate with their lender as they feel that it is too informal or too difficult to explain their point of view.

However, many people do manage to borrow money from a lender which has no local branch to them. They either conduct business by post, telephone or computer and manage well doing so. Some find it much easier because they can send messages at a time of day which is convenient to them rather than having to wait for a branch to open. It can also be much easier as they do not have to get to a branch but can communicate with the lender from home, work or anywhere they wish. They may find it a lot easier than having to find out when the branch is open and take the time to go there. These days a lot of people seem to be very short of time and so they would prefer to be able to deal with their lender at a time and place convenient to them rather than having to make a special effort to visit them.

Some accounts are not available as branch based accounts and this could apply to loans as well. This means that if you find one that is a competitive rate you may have to be prepared to put up with it being online or telephone based banking rather than a branch based account. However, the opposite may be true as well, with some accounts being branch based only.

So having a branch could be important to some people but less important to others. If an account is run only within a branch then you will need to make sure that there is a local branch that you can get to so that you can conduct any business that you need to there. However, most lenders do not require you to be near to a branch so this will not be an issue for you.

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