Tipton and Coseley Building Society will not go down the call centre route, chairman Bill Bath has pledged.

His comments came in the wake of pretax profits issued last week of £1.66 million for 2005, up from £1.5 million the previous year.

Group assets increased by 9.76 per cent to £287.43 million.

It also cuts its management expenses ratio to just 0.98 per cent.

Mr Bath said: "Our focus in listening to our customers, refining products and business practice accordingly and offering personal service is something we in intend to continue for the benefit of our members."

Saying the fashion for call centres appeared to be changing, he said customers of financial organisation who had gone down the route were "reacting against that".

The Tipton & Coseley was a niche player which had to provide local services at the best competitive cost.

The building society employs 67 staff.