Donna Brown has been appointed as the new manager of Newcastle Building Society’s Sunderland branch, strengthening its commitment to the city.

Despite a national trend of bank branch closures which has seen several banks leave high streets across the north east, Newcastle Building Society remains committed to its branch network, investing heavily in the provision of face-to-face services across the region.

South Shields-based Donna has returned to the Society’s Sunderland branch on Waterloo Place, where she began in 2020 as a customer advisor. After five months as South Shields assistant branch manager, Donna  will now  lead the team which has been providing face-to-face access to financial services since 2000.

Donna said: “It’s fantastic to be back in Sunderland and to return to the branch where I first started my career with Newcastle Building Society. The team at our Waterloo Place branch are all committed to delivering the best possible face-to-face service for our members and I look forward to building on the success our Sunderland branch has had in meeting local people’s needs.”

As well as investing in its branch network, over recent years Newcastle Building Society has opened in several new locations, helping to restore access to financial services in communities where banks have left town. This includes their innovative community partnership branches in Yarm, Wooler, Hawes, and Knaresborough which share space with other local services such as libraries, tourist information and even community police officers.

The Society recently announced plans to open a brand new flagship community branch in Newcastle city centre, taking over the space at Monument recently vacated by retailer French Connection.

John Hicks, Head of Branch Network at Newcastle Building Society, said: “Donna has risen quickly through the ranks here at the Society and has come full circle, returning to Sunderland with her enthusiasm, and customer and community focus, all of which will be a real benefit to the city. I’m sure she will be a great success leading this vibrant high street branch.”

As well as the commitment to its branch network, the Society is assuring members that it will continue to offer passbooks, as well as digital options, as a way to track deposits and withdrawals from their savings. This comes as many high street providers continue to reduce access to passbooks at a time when savers value the extra reassurance, convenience and security managing their money face-to-face in a branch offers.

For more information about Newcastle Building Society’s branch investment programme and to find your nearest branch, visit www.newcastle.co.uk