by Mark Johnston
The West Bromwich building society is all set for a new image. The building society is shortening its name to ‘the West Brom’ and introducing a “bold new brand identity” by radically revamping its image. Together with the name change the West Brom will have a modern new logo and colour change to purple and green.
The West Brom has been a mutual building society for over 150 years which means it doesn’t have to pay dividends to outside shareholders. As with most mutual building societies, the West Brom is able to pass more value to its members in the form of cheaper loans and better savings rates. Being committed to this sort of business means that they can concentrate on what’s best for their members and the communities that they work in instead of their shareholders.
The society has over 800 staff in 50 branches in and around the west midlands, with over £5 billion in assets it’s the 9th largest building society in the United Kingdom.
The branding change was part of a massive investment program to modernise the business and its network of 50 branches. The name change and new branding was just the start.
Robert Sharpe, chief executive of West Brom, said: “This radical change of image represents an exciting new era for the West Brom, with a revitalised brand and fully refurbished branch network that members, staff and local communities can be extremely proud of. Our new identity retains the symbol of the tree with its connotations of strength, resilience and growth, while in branches the emphasis is very much on making members feel welcome and valued.”
West Brom have some great mortgage products on offer including a two year fixed rate mortgage at 4.29% with a loan to value (LTV) of 75% and APR of 5.6%. Anyone looking to buy an average house worth £160,000 would need a £40,000 deposit. The mortgage of the remaining £120,000 on a typical 25 year term would cost £659 per month but if rates were to increase once the fixed rate end borrowers could end up paying a lot more. At 12% interest, the repayment would be £1274, but be mindful that this could happen no matter which lender a borrower takes a mortgage out with.
Alternatively, for those looking to protect themselves from any future interest rate increases, the West Brom offers a longer fixed rate product which doesn’t end until November 2015. The added security does come at a price of 5.99% which works out at 6% APR. Again the mortgage has a loan to value (LTV) of 75% so the example above would still require a £40,000 deposit but repayments would be slightly higher at £781 per month on a typical 25year mortgage.
Its seems the newly branded West Brom is looking to attract more customers by changing its image and offering competitive products. Their recent half year results looked like they were improving as a result. They reported a £5.5million loss down from £11.7million last yea whilst still staying below the Council of Mortgage Lenders arrears figure of 1.55% by reporting 1.27%.
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