Coronavirus Key Information and Guidance

Your Building Society continues to function effectively and continues to take actions in line with government guidelines. The most important thing is that we continue to support you, our members throughout this unprecedented period as well as protecting you and our staff. Our staff will continue to be on hand to handle your queries and support you with any requests that you may have. – Tim Bowen, CEO

Branch opening hours

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation, the Society has taken the decision to adjust its branch opening times.

We will continue to limit the number of members who can access the branch office at any one time, to adhere to the governments ‘social distancing’ policy. For counter service, our hours will be 9am – 1pm Monday to Friday, until further notice.

Saturday opening is suspended for the time being.

Don’t forget you can still reach us by email at enquiries@penrithbs.co.uk or by phone on 01768 863675. You might find the answer to your query on our website – so it’s certainly worth having a look here too.

As the situation continues to change on a rapid basis, we will be regularly updating our website, as well as our Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Our priority remains the health and wellbeing of our staff, our members and their families and, the broader community. We hope that you understand the rationale around these changes and we look forward to returning to our normal opening hours when it is safe to do so.

Accessing your savings

If you need to arrange a payment from your PBS account to your bank account you will first need to tell us your Nominated Account details and set up Secure Personal Information details. This will allow us to identify you. The forms can be downloaded from our website at this link or we can post them to you. We will require proof of the nominated account details (voided blank cheque or a copy of a bank statement) .

We can only transfer funds to a bank account in your own name (sole or joint account)

If you would like to set up a standing order to your Penrith Building Society savings account from your bank you will need to contact your bank and quote the following details;
Sort code: 60-16-21
Account number: 77173163
The reference number is your Penrith Building Society account number which can be found on the top right corner in your passbook. Please ensure you include the reference number as funds sent without this will be returned to your bank account. You can download a Standing Order Authority Form should you wish to complete and return to your bank

You can also view your account balances by registering for @PBS through the website and this will also enable you to access our secure messaging system

Should you have any questions please feel free to contact us at enquiries@penrithbs.co.uk or on 01768 863675

Mortgage Payment Deferrals

A Mortgage Payment Deferral is an agreement you might be able to make with your mortgage lender allowing you temporarily to stop or reduce your monthly mortgage repayments. The deadline by which a Mortgage Payment Deferral can be requested is 31 March 2021. All Mortgage Payment Deferrals must end by 31/07/2021. If you are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of being impacted by COVID-19 please view the Society’s full guidance document on its approach – click here and to view and download a Mortgage Payment Deferral request form click here. You can also contact us at support@penrithbs.co.uk or 01768 863675.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties that are not of a temporary nature please still contact the Society (as above) so that we can discuss your situation more fully and let you know what options may be available to help you.

On the 17th November 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority released updated guidance relating to the extension of Mortgage Payment Deferrals. Full details for consumers, can be found at: www.fca.org.uk/consumers/mortgages-coronavirus-consumers

Extension of Mortgage Offers

We’re pleased to confirm we will consider an extension of a mortgage offer for an additional three months, where the applicant has exchanged contracts, to support customers who are expected to move home in the near future.
 
We will require up to date evidence of the applicant’s income and latest bank statement, a signed declaration form and property revaluation. 

PBS Staff Team Message

We have, where possible, staff working remotely. We also have staff keeping the branch open, albeit on reduced opening times. The whole team is working together, from wherever they are based, to ensure that we continue to look after our members’ needs during these extremely challenging circumstances for all of us.

If you require any help with your savings or mortgage accounts, please contact us via email at enquiries@penrithbs.co.uk or by phone on 01768 863675 between 9am and 5pm weekdays and our staff will be there to help you.

We will be monitoring the situation on a daily basis and will update you via our website: www.penrithbs.co.uk, through social media, via our branch and by email if you have already provided us with your email address. Key documentation can be found in the Downloads section of the website.

Thank you for your understanding and support during these unprecedented times in helping us to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Protecting yourself from fraud

Criminals use exceptional circumstances like the current COVID-19 situation as a chance to pose as employees of a genuine organisation, such as building society / bank staff and police officers and target you for fraud scams.

Criminals pretend to be from your building society, bank or the police and claim they are dealing with coronavirus-related issues that require you to respond by paying money or providing personal information that will allow them to access your account. They often use pressure tactics to stop you thinking about want they want you do for them.

To be clear, Penrith Building Society will never:
• Ask you to disclose your PIN number or other passwords for your accounts
• Encourage you to move funds from your own account into a different “safe” account
• Encourage you to order and pay for UK cash via the phone or internet.
• Charge up-front fees for repayment holidays
• Make home visits to collect mortgage arrears on your doorstep
• Demand an immediate payment of mortgage arrears over the phone
• Demand payment of mortgage arrears via email providing you with a link through which to make payments.

Individuals who approach you saying that they are building society employees and who pressurise you in the ways outlined above are criminals.

Stop – Take a moment to think.

Challenge – Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to say “No” and end the conversation.

Protect – Contact the building society or the bank from which you have made a payment immediately if you think that you have been the victim of fraud.

If you have any concerns please call us on 01768 863675. Full guidance from the Society can be found here

Phishing scams

Phishing scams have become ubiquitous through email communication and commerce. Cyber criminals are exploiting the Coronavirus through the wide distribution of mass emails posing as legitimate organizations such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO). In one particular instance, victims have received an email purporting to be from the WHO with an attachment supposedly containing pertinent information regarding the Coronavirus. This leads to either unsuspecting victims opening the attachment causing various types of malware to infect their system, or prompting the victim to enter their email login credentials to access the information resulting in harvested login credentials. These incidents enable further instances of cyber-enabled financial crime such as Business Email Compromise (BEC), PII theft, ransomware, account takeovers, etc. Another side effect of the Coronavirus is increased teleworking, which furthers the reliance on email for communication adding yet another multiplier to these email fraud schemes. More of these incidents are expected, and increased vigilance regarding email communication is highly encouraged.

Social engineering scams

Another emerging fraud scheme exploiting the Coronavirus is using social engineering tactics through legitimate social media websites seeking donations for charitable causes related to the virus. Criminals are exploiting the charitable spirit of individuals, seeking donations to fraudulent causes surrounding the Coronavirus. Increased caution should be exercised when donating to causes tied to Coronavirus relief.

Non-delivery scams

A third fraud scheme surrounds non-delivery scams. Essentially, criminal actors are advertising in-demand medical supplies for sale to be used to prevent/protect against the Coronavirus, i.e. medical masks, gloves, disinfectant, etc. The criminal enterprise will demand upfront payments or initial deposits, then abscond with the funds and never complete delivery of the ordered product. Increased caution and vigilance while purchasing these supplies should be exercised.

Take five

The “Take five to stop fraud campaign” has published a dedicated COVID-19 section on its website to provide individuals and businesses with advice on spotting and avoiding scams using COVID-19 as the hook to get the victim drawn in Take five – COVID19 fraud and scams

Other useful links

Some further links to helpful information that our members may find useful

COVID-19 what you need to do – Government instructions

Government guidance on support for small businesses

Government guidance on maintaining mental health and wellbeing

Money and Mental Health Policy Institute