Monday 30th March 2020
Supporting our members and staff
Our priority continues to be ensuring we maintain the services you rely on and over time we will expand the availability of those where we’re able to while adhering to the government guidelines on social distancing.
To keep you as up to date as possible, not only with what we’re doing but also with all the information being made available by the government, we’ve created this specific news page.
Thank you for your ongoing understanding and support during what continues to be an unprecedented time for us all.
Another important message from our CEO, Gary Brebner
Your Loughborough and coping with COVID-19
I want to provide you all with an update as to how we’re working to continue services to you, our members, during these most unusual of times.
At our branches
Branch staff continue to work under strict Covid-19 protocols which include the number of customers we can safely have in our branches at any one time. The weather may not be as kind as in the Springtime but please do follow the notices so we can keep operating.
If you’re unable to visit us, then please phone us. The website gives the current details which may change but at the time of writing our branch phone service currently operates 09:30 to 16:00 Monday to Friday. We’re working on ways we can provide you with access to your savings. Please speak to your branch or our Head Office team who will help you.
At Head Office
We continue to work safely from Head Office with a number of staff members working from home. Mortgage services continue and mortgage customers will soon receive their annual mortgage statements. If you have elected to have Mortgage Payment Deferral applied you will see the months where no payments were made nor expected.
The phone hours for Head Office are 10:00 to 15:00 Monday to Friday. The latest position on service levels can be found below in our Service Status section.
Work in the community
It has simply not been possible this year to provide the practical support we would have liked to the charities we supported through the last AGM. Given the current social focus on those in hardship, much of it created by the Coronavirus pandemic, we plan to change the charity supported by your votes for the upcoming AGM.
Planning for the AGM
Given the current restrictions it’s simply not credible to plan for a normal AGM where members can attend. This year we’ll have a ‘closed’ AGM which will operate remotely and carry out the duties that are required of us. However, you’ll still receive all the same notices and voting forms as before. I would encourage all members to sign up to receive their packs by email and vote remotely. We’ll increase the amount we donate for each online vote.
If we don’t have your email address and you’d like to receive your pack that way, please use the contact us area of the website to provide us with those details.
We’re working on a way to collect member questions and then provide answers to them.
Thank you for your understanding and support during what is an unprecedented time for us all.
Chief Executive Officer
While the slow and cautious relaxation of the coronavirus guidelines are welcomed by us all, maintaining the distancing rules to protect our members and staff will require us to continue with our reduced hours of business. With effect from 9 November 2020 our branch and agency offices will be open during the following times.
Monday to Friday from 09:30 to 15:00
Branch and agency offices remain closed on Saturdays
Please help us minimise the risk to our members and staff by adhering to the guidance within the notices in branch windows/doors and only visit our branch/agency offices for transactions that are absolutely necessary and if you have family members with you, please ask them to wait outside.
Stay safe, be responsible
There are now varying restrictions in place across the UK. The government website has everything you need to know about the National Restrictions.
You can find all the information you need about the tiering that will affect you from 2 December and the special rules that will apply for the five days of Christmas here.
To ensure you have the latest and most accurate information about protecting yourself and your family, you can access the dedicated NHS webpages here where you’ll find a variety of information including how to protect vulnerable people and how to get an isolation note to give to your employer.
The government’s official website has extensive information across a broad range of topics related to Coronavirus. From the main page here, you can access all the information available.
Stay safe from fraud
Criminals use exceptional circumstances, like the current COVID-19 situation, to lull people into believing that the contact they’re making is genuine so it’s important you remain vigilant to such contacts. We’ve put together some general information to help you which you can read and download here.
NHS Test and Trace scams
The NHS Test and Trace service plays an important role in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public have confidence and trust in the service. However, the government understands the concerns people have about the opportunity for criminals to commit scams.
What you need to know
Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who doesn’t wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service. All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. They will advise people to type the web address https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.
The NHS Test and Trace service will never:
- Ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them for example, those starting 09 or 087)
- Ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
- Ask for any details about your bank account
- Ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
- Ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
- Ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
- Ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS
If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. If you live in Scotland, please report directly to Police Scotland by calling 101.
Support for mortgage customers
If you’re unable to make your mortgage payments due to coronavirus, you can apply for a mortgage payment break.
This option is for people who:
- Haven’t already taken a payment break, or
- Have already taken a payment break of less than 6 months.
Following the announcement by the Government that the Deferred Mortgage payment facility has been extended, this option will remain available to you at any time until 31 March 2021.
How does the Deferred Mortgage payment facility work?
During a deferral of your mortgage payment, you won’t need to make any payments but you will be required to repay these deferred payments after this period ends.
Is Deferring my mortgage payment the right option for me?
It’s important to remember that deferring your mortgage payment is a temporary break to help you through these uncertain times.
There are a few things to consider before applying to defer your mortgage payments, to make sure it’s right for your situation:
- The most appropriate time for you to take up the offer of a mortgage payment deferral will depend on your individual circumstances
- The total amount of interest you’ll pay over the term of the mortgage will increase
- It won’t affect your credit rating
- When your payments are due to start again, they’ll be recalculated, and you may see an increase in your monthly payments
- At the end of the deferral period we’ll contact you to confirm what your new monthly payment will be
There may be alternative solutions you can consider that will reduce your monthly mortgage payments, subject to the terms of your mortgage, such as a temporary extension of the mortgage term or a temporary conversion to interest only. The Financial Conduct Authority has reiterated that borrowers should keep up with payments on their mortgage if they can do so and should only seek support where such support is absolutely necessary.
If you’d like to discuss the payment options available please contact us without delay by email at Paymentadmin@theloughborough.co.uk or by telephone on 01509 631952
Worried about your mortgage payments?
If you think you might not be able to meet your mortgage repayments it’s important that you contact us without delay on 01509 631952 or by email at Paymentadmin@theloughborough.co.uk. Our friendly and trained team members will work with you to understand your individual circumstances and agree a solution that may meet your needs.
You’ll also find some useful information on the Money Advice Service website www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk.