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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Frequently Asked Questions
Posted: 31st Mar 2020

Last updated: 27 May 2020 09:15

If you're concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your finances, we've put together a list of frequently asked questions together with essential information you may find useful at this challenging time. This page will be updated regularly as the situation develops.


 

SAVINGS

Are your branches still open and can I come in?

The Society has made changes to branch opening hours, to enable us to continue to provide as wide a service as possible for our members across Suffolk.

We must also stress that our branches are open for essential transactions only and for the safety of our staff we ask that members consider whether they really need to physically visit one of our locations.

What do I do if my local branch is closed?

In the event your local branch is closed, either as part of our reduced branch service or unexpectedly, full details can be found here. In the event of an unexpected closure unfortunately we cannot always advise when a branch might re-open in advance. We will clearly signpost members to their nearest branch that remains open.

For those members who usually make their mortgage payments in branch, payments can also be made using a UK debit card by calling 01473 278150, or alternatively, if you would like to pay by bank transfer you can use the following details:

Sort code: 23-44-48
Account number: 00004000
Payment reference: [YOUR MORTGAGE ACCOUNT NUMBER]

How can I access my savings if I am unable to get to a branch?

If you are unwell, avoiding social contact or otherwise unable to come into a branch, you may be able to operate your account by telephone or post, or you can ask a third party to act on your behalf. Guidance on how to arrange third-party withdrawals can be found by contacting us on 0330 123 0723.

Can I access my savings early?

In line with most others in the banking sector, we have temporarily lifted restrictions on our fixed rate and notice savings accounts allowing members penalty free access to their funds. This may help those who need emergency back up funds during any lockdown period, or during self isolation. However, please note that funds withdrawn can not necessarily be reinvested at a later date - please refer to the product terms and conditions for more information about additonal investments.

Can I still attend my appointment in branch?

No - all appointments and other non-essential services are suspended at this time


 

MORTGAGES

I’m struggling to pay my mortgage – how can you help me?

If you’re experiencing mortgage payment difficulties, we ask that you contact us in the first instance on 0330 123 0773 to discuss your problem and see how we can help. We can try to arrange a new payment plan for you, taking your financial circumstances and our interests into account. You may also be able to request a time-limited mortgage payment holiday on the account.

Can I get a mortgage payment holiday?

Following the government’s statement on 17 March regarding mortgage payment holidays we have updated our approach to how we can offer this to our members affected by COVID-19. Affected borrowers who are up to date with their mortgage payments and seeking a mortgage payment holiday are asked to complete and return our self-certification request form by post or by email to paymentqueries@ibs.co.uk (we suggest using secure email where possible). Agreed arrangements will not be reported to credit reference agencies.

Borrowers who are already in a payment shortfall or arrears will need to contact us in the first instance to discuss the options available.

Should I cancel my Direct Debit?

No - under no circumstances should borrowers cancel their Direct Debit without speaking to us as this may affect your credit score. Please contact us in the first instance to arrange a mortgage payment holiday.

I'm in the process of buying or selling. What should I do?

The latest government issued guidance can be found here.

Are you still offering mortgages?

Yes, we have a range of mortgage products and those which are currently available can be found on our product pages:

Please call our mortgage team on 0330 123 0773 if you have any queries or would like to discuss a new mortgage with us.


 

HOME INSURANCE

I have a question about my home insurance cover. Where can I find more information?

A list of FAQs and helpful information relating to home insurance can be found here.


 

GENERAL

How can I protect myself from fraud?

Unfortunately, some criminals are using the COVID-19 pandemic to trick people into sharing personal or financial details. We remind all members to be extra vigilant and exercise caution, and to look out for those who may be in a vulnerable situation. Click here for more information on how to avoid scams.  

Did you have your AGM this year?

Given the current situation, and being mindful of our legal obligation to hold our AGM, we took the decision to hold our AGM behind closed doors on Wednesday 25 March with members unable to attend. An audio recording of proceedings and full voting results can be found here.

How to stay in touch with us

By telephone

General enquiries – 0330 123 0723

Mortgages – 0330 123 0773

By email

General enquiries – enquiries@ibs.co.uk

Mortgages (new customers) – mortgages@ibs.co.uk

Mortgages (existing customers) – mortgageadmin@ibs.co.uk

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We are closely monitoring government advice and will be doing what we can to support our members during this challenging time. Our priority remains the safety of our employees, members and suppliers.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.