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Over half a million Yorkshire Building Society members used passbooks in 2023

Yorkshire Building Society reported that 550,000 members used passbooks between January and September last year (Mike Egerton/PA)
Yorkshire Building Society reported that 550,000 members used passbooks between January and September last year (Mike Egerton/PA)

More than half a million savers with a major building society used traditional passbooks in branches last year.

Despite the rise in apps and new ways to transfer cash, new figures from Yorkshire Building Society indicate that the power of the passbook as a way of managing money remains strong.

It reported that 550,000 members used passbooks – a physical record of money paid into or taken out of a savings account – between January and September last year.

The society, which has nearly three million customers, said 550,000 individual members used passbooks at least once between January and September, either updating them with transactions, withdrawing or depositing funds or transferring to another account.

The Yorkshire also commissioned Opinium to survey 2,000 UK adults in October 2023 about how they operate their finances.

It found that 57% like to operate their finances online and 47% enjoy managing their money using apps.

But more than a fifth (22%) said they prefer visiting their local branch to complete their banking, rising to almost a third (31%) of people aged over 55.

Over a quarter (27%) of people surveyed said they visit their local branch at least once a month.

One in six (16%) people surveyed said they still hold a passbook.

When dealing with more complex financial needs, over a quarter (27%) of people said they would prefer to seek information from someone face to face in a branch, although a third (36%) would use websites and 27% would try to find out information via a firm’s app.

When shopping around for a savings provider, over a quarter (26%) of people cited having the ability to visit a local branch as the most important factor.

Chris Irwin, director of savings at Yorkshire Building Society, said: “Helping people to save and to build up financial resilience is a key part of our purpose at Yorkshire Building Society.

“As this research shows, offering customers a choice of access is vitally important. Digital adoption has understandably sped up as a quick and easy alternative to face-to-face contact, especially during recent years, but we know a large amount of people still value in-branch banking and physical records.

“Making savings accessible for our customers in a way that best suits them, be that in one of our branches, online or via our app, supports our aim to continue to provide real help to our customers and members.”

Yorkshire Building Society has assets of £62.2 billion and Chelsea Building Society and Norwich & Peterborough Building Society are part of Yorkshire Building Society.