Yorkshire and Chelsea merger completed

The enlarged society will be known as Yorkshire Building Society, with the Chelsea Building Society name being retained and operated as a separate and distinct brand within the Yorkshire Group. It will have assets of £36 billion, 178 branches and 2.8 million members. The merger, which was approved by an overwhelming majority of members from each society in January, will provide consumers with a secure and credible alternative to the high street banks.

The enlarged Yorkshire will continue to be owned and run for the benefit of its members, offering good value products and excellent customer service. Branches will remain in all communities where either the Yorkshire or the Chelsea currently has a presence, and members will continue to enjoy the personalised service to which they are accustomed.

Iain Cornish, who is chief executive of the enlarged Yorkshire Building Society said: "This is an exciting day in our societies' histories, heralding the beginning of a new chapter. Our focus now is on successfully integrating the two organisations, which we anticipate will take between 12 and 18 months.

"I am also pleased to report that in the period 1 January to 28 February 2010, the combined performance of the two societies has delivered a pre-tax profit, while our lending increased by over 200% compared to the same period last year. This performance is ahead of our expectations and as the benefits of the merger are realised our ability to deliver value to members will continue to increase."