IFA’s Cornish building society call

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John Waldie
John Waldie

Helston-based independent financial advice firm, Atkins Ferrie Wealth Management, says serious consideration must be given to creating a building society for Cornwall, to prevent some parts of the county from being abandoned by banking services for good.

MD, John Waldie, identified the need while buying the recently closed Barclays Bank building in St Agnes.

He explained: “Our plan was to buy the building, to reinstate the cash point and provide a building society agency alongside a full independent financial advice facility.

“We phoned every building society in Britain asking if they would be interested, but to our complete surprise we hit a brick wall almost exclusively because of the geography.

“Most building societies are not interested in doing business more than 80 miles from their head office.”

He added: “This problem is unique to Cornwall as most other rural areas in the UK are within that required distance. I know the business figures that building societies require to make an agency work and I know we can achieve that. This problem is solely down to location.

“It is our opinion that Cornwall needs its own mutual building society owned by the Cornish people. I can’t do this on my own but I do feel that we need to start the debate.”