We outline the differences between the two popular affordable housing schemes.
Cara Holley, an HR adviser, wanted a safe and secure place for her money.
So she turned to Newbury Building Society.
A member for over 20 years and with a number of Newbury Building Society savings accounts under her belt, she explains why trusting a mutual organisation was the right decision for her.
How did we help the whole family save money?
Below, you can read her story:
How did you hear about Newbury Building Society?
My family moved to West Berkshire in 1995 when my Dad started work at Newbury Building Society. He encouraged my sisters and I to open a Young Savers savings account. I remember enjoying watching my balance grow in small amounts, making deposits when I could, but chose to close it when I was ready to open a current account.
Why did you choose to open a savings account with Newbury Building Society?
I wanted to save for my wedding which was separate from my other accounts so I'd be less likely to withdraw from it.
How does your saving plan work?
I leave one of my accounts for emergencies only. Another is for home renovations. The third is for bigger purchases as and when we need them, away from my monthly household expenses account. This was most recently used to pay car tax, but is intended for the deposit for a new car.
The three Barry Bear savings accounts are for each of my children. I make an automated monthly deposit into each.
Why do you have a savings accounts for your children?
I want to be able to help my children financially when they come to make a significant purchase whether it’s a car, university fees, a house or a wedding. Making small, regular deposits ensures I will be in a position to do this no matter what the future holds. My monthly deposits are automated so I barely notice them. I keep track of them online and update their passbooks maybe once per year. Making small, regular deposits doesn't feel like much, but the balances soon grow.
Why did you choose to open a savings account with a building society and not a high-street bank?
I originally wanted to keep some of my savings well away from the rest of my accounts in the hope I'd forget about them thereby allowing the accounts to grow. I have since increased the funds in my Society account because the rates available offer good value for money. There are no enhanced short-term introductory rates like some banks offer. This honest approach means I continue to receive good value without having to search around to make sure I'm getting the best deal, never mind the hassle of transferring money and updating standing orders every year. I like knowing my money is held by a local, mutual business without shareholders to fund.
Newbury Building Society offers a traditional, secure business model and traditional values which makes a refreshing change from the impersonal, greedy approach commonly associated with modern banks.
What was your experience like with Newbury Building Society during the opening of account stage?
I remember opening my account by phone. I called to obtain advice and a recommendation of the best type of account for my needs. A recommendation was provided and I then visited Newbury branch to complete the transaction. I received my passbook showing my deposited funds a few days later. I'd make occasional deposits but only updated my passbook every so often so I'd see jumps in my balance which was very pleasing!
What has the service continued to be like following the opening of your savings account?
I have visited Newbury branch since then to complete a total review of my savings needs. At that time, I let the savings adviser know the detail of all my savings accounts and she made some recommendations. Jane from Newbury branch was extremely clear, personable, matter-of-fact and easy to work with. I followed her advice which included some hints to maximise the interest payable within the terms of my accounts. When I later checked in with her to ensure I had completed all actions, she recalled our conversation and confirmed all was in order. The most useful thing she helped me to do was ensuring I set up was a nominated account so that I am able to transact on my Society accounts online. This facility remains incredibly useful.
I have also visited Hungerford branch to open Barry Bear accounts for each of my children. Naomi and Paula opened the accounts and each occasion was very straightforward. The process was simple and unhurried which was especially important because each time I brought a fairly new-born baby with me!
Would you recommend Newbury Building Society to friends and family?
Yes. My interactions with the savings advisers have always been informative. I have been provided with honest advice and clear recommendations. When they have promised to complete actions outside of our conversation, they have delivered. I have always felt valued as a customer and received the time required to complete our conversations in full. Being able to transact on my accounts online was unexpected and the icing on the cake!
If you’re thinking about opening a savings account, read our article “Savings explained: what different savings accounts are there?” and ‘Four things to consider before opening a savings account’ for further information on how to start (or improve) your savings journey.
If you have any questions about our savings accounts or would like to open one with us, visit your local branch or contact us by using our online form and one of our qualified savings advisers will be in touch.
A full list of our savings accounts can be found here.