About us

We’re here to create a banking experience that’s kinder to people and planet.

“Thanks for taking the time to find out more about us. Our aim is to create a banking experience that’s kinder to people and planet. Watch our brand film and find out more about what this means to us below.”

Des Moore, Chief Executive Officer

Kinder banking. It's in our nature.

We’re your building society and we’re owned by you. Unlike banks, we don’t have public or private shareholders which means we can invest 100% of our profits back into our business. As a result, our business is purpose-led, financially strong, socially responsible and always focused on our people, planet and communities.

In practice this means we can help our region to be financially strong, inclusive and welcoming for our current and future generations, creating exceptional experiences that are kinder for everyone who banks with us and those that work for us.

Our purpose is to deliver 'kinder banking’ by ensuring we uphold the following three commitments.

  • People. Banking that welcomes us all and respects each person’s needs.
  • Planet. Banking that nurtures the countryside we love and depend on.
  • Community. Banking that builds stronger communities, now and in the future.

Kinder to people

We work hard to create a banking experience that’s kinder to people, and this includes our customers, our colleagues and our business partners. When we say we’re real people, not robots, we mean that we approach things in a kind and human way. Here’s just a few of the ways we do this.

We ensure our products and services are fair to customers in their terms and conditions, fees and charges. We constantly review and improve our processes and documentation to make them as straight forward as possible.

We will always try and help customers in financial difficulty. We will provide guidance and support and adopt a responsible approach to lending for anyone facing issues. Our charitable funding also supports this approach by prioritising projects which help customers avoid financial problems through the support of financial education.

We are a Living Wage employer and we base our employee reward schemes on performance against our values framework and on quality of service and good customer outcomes rather than volume of sales. We are also signatories of the Women in Finance Charter, committing us to improve female representation across our business. We were delighted to exceed our initial target of having females holding at least 33% of our Senior Leadership Team and Board positions – we now have 40% and we are aiming for 50% by 2025.

Finally, in the highly unlikely event that our business should experience financial problems we are members of the Financial Services Compensations Scheme (FSCS) so your money, up to a maximum of £85,000, is covered. Find out more about the scheme here.

Kinder to the planet

Looking after the environment is a job undertaken one step at a time and we believe that every small change can make a difference.

We’ve partnered with Cumbria Wildlife Trust to offer mortgages that help everyone to feel at home. When you take out a new mortgage with us, we’ll make a donation to Cumbria Wildlife Trust.*

We understand the impact we have on the environment and are currently developing our approach in a new environmental policy. We recycle waste and use recycled products whenever we can in all of our branches and head office, and we operate energy and water-saving methods and purchase Fair Trade products wherever feasible.

We’re working to look after our people and our customers and in turn look after our wider planet.

Kinder to our communities

We are proud to be part of our local communities and we are committed to supporting the people who have supported us for 170 years. We want to make a positive difference to people’s lives now and in the future, and we do this in a number of ways.

We are among the top 2% of organisations in the world that donate 1.5% of profits to actively support charitable causes and projects – and the majority of our financial support goes straight to projects benefitting people in our area.

Our support is not just financial. Our people are given a day’s paid leave every year to volunteer with local good causes and charities. As our advocates in the local community, we are reassured that they take pride in The Cumberland and embrace our values, taking up opportunities to volunteer and support local charitable projects and initiatives.

Our values shape and guide us

Our five core values underpin who we are and what we stand for. They form the basis of how we approach our business and they guide every decision we make.

These values ensure we do the right thing by our customers, communities and colleagues, and help us to make a positive difference every day. We have embedded these values across our business, sharing our culture with our colleagues and passing it on in everything we all do.

We’re proud of the culture these values have created, but we’re constantly looking for ways we can improve.

We talk about our values regularly, from informal chats through to formal governance decisions, ensuring they're not just a sign on the wall or something we talk about once a year, but at the front of everyone’s minds.

Customer-led
We put customers first in everything we do
Straight forward
We work hard to make things simpler
Responsible
We do the right thing
Forward-thinking
We embrace new ideas to continually improve
Better together
We work as one team
We’re open and transparent

Being a customer of The Cumberland means you know your money is being used to help others like you achieve their own financial goals.

At its core, our business model is relatively simple. We use the savings our customers deposit with us to lend to people and businesses to buy property. The majority of our lending is to people in North West England and South West Scotland who are buying a home, but we also specialise in some areas of commercial lending like hospitality mortgages and holiday lets - industries our region is particularly celebrated for.

We don’t make direct investments in stocks and shares and we do not provide funding for fossil fuel projects or companies. As a result, many of the issues associated with ethical investment, such as avoiding companies involved in negative ethical issues, do not apply to our business, and we don’t invest your money outside the UK.

We believe all businesses should pay their way and we strictly adhere to both the regulation and spirit of UK tax legislation. We want to play our part in the local and national economy and we don’t think you would expect or accept anything less from us.

Download our Annual Report

Our Annual Report publishes full details of our approach and activities, but if you’ve got a question in the meantime, please ask. We’re here to help and support you.

Awards

We're here to provide exceptional customer service. One of the ways we check this is to use the independent review platform, Feefo. They ask our customers to rate our service, and every single review we receive is published on their website and ours. You can read them here.

As a direct result of our customer feedback, Feefo have awarded us with the Platinum Trusted Service Award for the second year in a row. This is only awarded to businesses who have achieved consistently high ratings over at least three years.

As you’d imagine, we’re delighted with this, but by no means are we resting on our laurels. If there’s any issues you’d like to discuss with us then please email customerservice@cumberland.co.uk and we’ll get back to you.

We know that ‘ethical’ can mean many things to many people. Our customers can be sure that operating every part of our business and the people that it touches, in line with our values, will always be our priority. It is, and always has been, what we stand for.

We are proud that the hard work and commitment of our people has been recognised for this by organisations that seek out and celebrate excellence in ethical and sustainable business practice.

Most recently this includes being a finalist in Best Ethical Financial Provider at the 2022 British Bank Awards, as well as receiving an accolade from Ethical Consumer Magazine for providing one of the UK’s most ethical current accounts.