Building society bucks branch-closure trend and opens 7 new sites

More than 500 high-street bank branches will close their doors this year but one small building society is bucking the trend.

Nottingham Building Society is taking over seven branches currently owned by Norwich & Peterborough Building Society, which were among 28 branches facing closure from September.

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The Nottingham has taken on 19 branches previously owned by rivals since 2012. The new market-town sites in Spalding, Stamford, Huntingdon, Bourne, Thetford, Dereham and Fakenham will expand the network to 67 – more than double the number of branches it had five years ago.

In addition to everyday banking services, the mutual offers financial planning and estate agency services. It also offers whole-of-market mortgage advice, which is free for Nottingham Building Society members who have had at least £500 in one of its savings accounts for at least a year.

It charges a fee of £249 to non-members or new customers or £149 for new customers to estate agents Harrison Murray and Nottingham Estate Agency. Previous customers of Nottingham Mortgage Services will also get the cheaper deal.

Customers want face to face contact

For futher details please visit Mortgage Broker Belfast for a face to face sercice that offers the personal touch when entering the stormy mortgage market

Banks closing branches say their customers’ banking habits have changed and more people are using online and mobile services.

For example, Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest, which announced 158 site closures in March this year, said branch transactions have fallen 43pc since 2010 and mobile transactions have increased by more than 400pc.

Mortgage Seekers now more savvy than ever online

The Mortgage clinic in Belfast was formed in 2015 with the aim of providing consumers with a fresh approach to mortgage and insurance advice.

Traditionally financial advisers used to rely on ‘word of mouth’ and referrals from existing customers and estate agents, even door to door calls, but these days an increasing number of customers search online for this service.

‘I believe that these old fashioned marketing methods are less effective and more time consuming than new digital methods’ says Helmut Elstner owner of The Mortgage Clinic.

‘Today we are using Google, social media, and online chat facilities to communicate with our consumers, and reach large audiences quickly’

Online presence is key!

In the modern world we ‘Google’ everything we want information on, we research everything before even engaging with a provider, so in business we need to appear

attractive to the consumer online, and grab their interest. At The Mortgage Clinic we are working to meet customer expectations online. When seeking out a professional mortgage adviser customers are asking the following questions: Who is the mortgage adviser? How experienced are they? Do they have good reviews? Are they trustworthy? And our website gives them the answers they are looking for!

What does the future hold?

Certainly we will continue to expand our online offering, with new online insurance quote facilities arriving later in 2017 for various types of insurance, like Life & Critical illness Insurance, Home Insurance, and Private medical insurance.

As financial advisers we offer a very different service than price comparison sites, which simply aim to provide a range of prices but do not communicate the differences of these insurance policies and the benefits of one policy over another.

This could mean the difference in successfully making a claim on an insurance policy! And our aim is still to advise customers that want our advice.

For futher details please visit Mortgage Advisor Belfast

Should you buy a refurbished iPad? Ebay, iRefurbstock, & more

irefurbstock review ipads

What’s better than an iPad? A cheap iPad. The iPad is a great device, but it can still cost as much as an entry-level laptop even if you go with the cheapest 16 GB Wi-Fi-only iPad Air 2. And if you need a data connection, you can add more money to the price. But before you decide that you can’t quite afford one, let’s take a look at some ways you can make the purchase of the iPad cheaper.

Buy a Refurbished iPad from Apple

An easy way to cut the price of an iPad is to buy a refurbished unit. In fact, this is a good trick with many devices from laptops to gaming consoles. Apple’s online store sells a wide variety of refurbished iPads and you can usually save off the price. If you combine this with buying the last generation iPad or an iPad mini, you can get a great device for fairly cheap. Worried about buying a refurbished device? A refurbished iPad from Apple comes with the same 1-year warranty you get with a new iPad, which can ease concerns of buying refurbished.

Buy a Refurbished iPad from a third party (

Apple’s refurbished prices are still quite pricey, so it may be worth checking out other non apple sources for refurbished units.  As long as you are getting a good warranty and returns policy, you should be able to (in most cases) buy with confidence.

We purchased an older model iPad Air 2 from  After a few weeks it arrived boxed, with full accessories.  All was in pretty good condition and the ipad itself looked almost brand new.  This seller includes an Apple care warranty with each ipad, so its worth calling into you local Apple store if you have any issues.

Buy a Refurbished iPad from a third party (

Just do a quick ebay search for Refurbished iPad and you are met with hundred of offers as usual check seller feedback and you should be ok.

Buy a Refurbished iPad from a third party (Amazon)

Did you know you can buy used products from Amazon? Go to Amazon, search for the iPad and click on the model you want to buy. Once at the product’s detail page, you will see how many used units they have for sale. These iPads are sold from a variety of different stores, and not only can you see details about the iPad such as what condition the device is in, you can also see the seller’s satisfaction rating.