What Is A Building Society?


What Is A Building Society

What is difference between bank and building society?

The main difference between a bank and a building society is that building societies are owned and run by their members – the people who bank, save and borrow with them. In other words, you. Banks tend to be floated on the stock market, so are owned by shareholders.

What is the meaning of building society?

What is a building society? Building societies are financial organisations often referred to as ‘mutuals’ as they are owned by their Members. This means that every borrower or saver of a building society has a say on how the society operates, that’s why they are referred to as ‘Members’ and not customers.

This is different to a bank, as they are normally listed on the stock exchange and as such must operate to the benefit of its shareholders. A building society is still run as rigorously as a bank on the high street, but it is run for the benefit of Members and makes its business decisions in a different way because of this.

How does a building society work? Put simply, when someone saves with a building society, they are given interest on every pound that they save, this money is then lent out as a mortgage and the borrowers are charged interest for this. Chorley Building Society began in 1859 in order to help local mill owners own their own home.

If you’d like to know a little more about Chorley’s history click here Over 162 years later we are still helping people all over the country own their own homes. If you’d like to see our current mortgage range click here What else is there to know about a building society? There are currently 43 building societies and six credit unions* in the UK.

The majority of building societies ensure that their profits go straight back into the society. This means that the Society is run for the benefit of the Members. Most societies also focus on their local communities, supporting a range of grassroot activities and also local charities and community groups.

Chorley Building Society supports its local community in a number of ways, including our Chorley High Five initiative. To find out more click here We think it is important that our Members know how we are different to a bank, after all we answer to you! *BSA as of 31 March 2021 This website uses cookies to improve your experience.

We’ll assume you’re ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish.

Is a building society like a bank?

Whilst banks and building societies are both financial institutions, they do not operate in quite the same way. If you are looking for a suitable place to open a savings account, apply for a mortgage or take out other financial products, it’s important to understand the difference.

Then you can decide whether a bank and a building society is best for you. What is a bank? A bank is a financial organisation, usually owned by shareholders, where people and businesses can save and borrow money. Most banks tend to operate across the whole of the UK, or globally, and customers can use their services no matter where they are located.

What is a building society? A building society is also a financial organisation offering some of the same products and services as banks, but most often with a focus on savings accounts and mortgages. Building societies are referred to as ‘mutuals’, as they are owned by their members rather than external shareholders.

  • They are run for the mutual benefit of these members and their communities.
  • The history of banks and building societies Banks were originally founded as a secure place for wealthy people to store their money.
  • Over time, the basic principles of accepting deposits, paying interest and making loans from the deposited funds were developed.

These processes have continued to evolve over time, with most banks now offering a wide range of financial services, from savings and loans to wealth management and investment services. Building societies were mainly founded in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in response to the increased demand for land and homes.

  1. Not everybody could afford to purchase land, so societies were formed to take deposits from members of the community which would then be pooled together into a bigger sum.
  2. One by one, members would then be able to purchase land to build a house.
  3. The first societies were self-terminating, meaning that once every member had a home, the society would dissolve.

As the demand for safer long-term savings increased, permanent building societies as we know them today were formed. How many banks and building societies are there in the UK? In total, as of March 2023, there are currently 357 Monetary Financial Institutions (MFIs) in the UK.

There are 314 banks and 43 building societies, meaning that societies make up 13.7% of all MFIs. Although there may be fewer societies in comparison to banks, they make up around a quarter of the total mortgage market share. The difference in ownership The majority of banks in the UK are listed on stock exchanges and owned by shareholders.

These shareholders monitor the overall performance of the bank, and have the right to vote on issues that affect the bank, some of which have the potential to impact customers. Banks will reinvest some of their profits to ensure sustainability and growth, and a large portion of their profits will be paid out in dividends to their shareholders.

As building societies are owned by members, they operate in a different way from banks. Societies tend to work much more locally, so input from and engagement with members is of high importance. Members have the opportunity to attend each Annual General Meeting, where they can ask questions, hear about the society’s upcoming plans and vote on decisions regarding the future running of the organisation.

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For example, in 2020 over 3,000 members voted to change our name from Ipswich Building Society to Suffolk Building Society. Several hundred Suffolk Building Society members attend the AGM each year. Building societies are not owned by shareholders, so there are no dividends to pay.

Building societies often allocate some of their profits to benefit the local community in which they serve. For example, we currently have two campaigns underway, one to protect the local environment and nature, and the other to help tackle housing issues and domestic violence within the local area.

Does branch accessibility differ between banks and building societies? Many banks and building societies have branches for customers and members to visit in person. Some banks are online only, so it’s important to decide whether or not you may want to speak to a real person, in person, before choosing where to save or borrow.

Since societies tend to be more localised, the branches most commonly aren’t spread nationally. Banks, on the other hand, often have branches across the entire UK. The number of bank branches in the UK has been on a steady decline since 1994, and in the aftermath of Covid-19, many banks have announced further closures, encouraging customers to use online banking services.

Building societies are also digitalising but they understand the importance of personal, face to face interaction too, so the number of building society branches in the country has remained largely the same despite the decline of bank branches. Do banks and building societies offer the same products? Generally, banks offer products such as a variety of current accounts and saving accounts, savings bonds, ISAs, credit cards, loans, mortgages and insurance as well as wealth management and financial advisory services.

  1. Building societies most commonly offer savings accounts and mortgage products, however, some societies may offer a wider range.
  2. Societies tend to serve their local communities, so some products, particularly savings accounts, may be restricted to customers within postcode areas local to the building society.

Most will still accept applications for a mortgage, even if the individual is not local to them. Are banks safer than building societies? Although there are clear differences between banks and building societies in some areas, you can expect the same in terms of compensation from the two.

Both are authorised by the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and regulated by the PRA and Financial Conduct Authority. Both banks and building societies are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, Whether you choose to save or borrow from a bank or a building society will highly depend on your personal circumstances and needs.

If you’re looking for a financial institution in which you can be involved with the decision-making and supporting the local community, a building society might be the best place for you.

What is an example of a building society?

Examples of building societies – Over recent years the number of building societies in the UK has dwindled. Some, including big names such as Halifax and Alliance & Leicester, have ceased to operate for the benefit of the members (called ‘demutualisation’).

Nationwide (the largest building society in the world)YorkshireCoventrySkiptonLeedsWest BromwichPrincipalityNewcastleNorwich and PeterboroughNottingham

There are dozens of smaller societies, many of which operate in a specific geographical area. These range from larger providers such as the Cumberland and Ipswich building societies, down to small operators such as the Penrith, Mansfield and Shepshed building societies.

Is HSBC a bank or building society?

How did a local Hong Kong bank become one of the world’s largest financial services organisations? Read the story of HSBC’s birth and international expansion – and how we have been supporting customers for more than 150 years. After deals in the Middle East, India and the US, HSBC needed a strong foothold in Europe to transform itself into a truly international bank.

In 1992, it achieved this by acquiring the UK’s Midland Bank. The bank’s long experience and diversification helped it weather the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, the global financial crisis of 2008 and the challenges that followed. In recent years it has implemented a series of closures and disposals that have made it easier to manage and better positioned to capitalise on growth opportunities as they emerge.

In China, however, it has grown: both organically, following the establishment of HSBC Bank China in 2007, and through a series of alliances with Chinese financial institutions. Today HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

Who are the top 5 building societies in the UK?

Financial Services – Top 10 Building Societies in the UK in 2021 by Total Assets Showing 10 out of 24 companies. Nationwide Building Society, Coventry Building Society, Yorkshire Building Society, Skipton Building Society, and Leeds Building Society are the top 5 UK-based Building Societies in 2021 by Total Assets.

Collectively, the top 10 UK-based Building Societies had assets of $523,842 million where the Nationwide Building Society had the highest ($350,643 million), followed by Coventry Building Society ($70,838 million), Yorkshire Building Society ($65,888 million), and Skipton Building Society ($38,877 million), while Cumberland Building Society stood lowest ($3,717million), In aggregate, they had assets of $593,447 million.

The top 10 building societies hey employed a total of 29,639 people in 2021. UK-based Nationwide Building Society is the leading building society in the UK in 2021 by assets. The company reported assets of $350,643 million for the fiscal year ended December 2021 (FY2021) and reported revenues of $6,240.72 million.

  1. It is a provider of a range of consumer banking and residential and commercial mortgage solutions to about 16.3 million customers in the UK.
  2. Nationwide segregates its business into three categories: Residential Mortgages, Commercial and Other Lending, and Consumer Banking.
  3. It also offers internet banking, mobile banking, and online banking services.

The group’s treasury activities include derivatives, liquidity, and discretionary portfolios. Nationwide Building Society employed a total of 14,247 people in 2021. Skipton Building Society (Skipton) is another leading building society in the UK in 2021 by assets.

  • The company reported assets of $38,877 million for the fiscal year ended December 2021 (FY2021) and reported revenues of $1,299 million, a growth of 1.6% as compared to the previous year.
  • Skipton, along with its subsidiaries, offers mortgages, savings and investments, estate agencies, and financial advisory solutions.

: Financial Services – Top 10 Building Societies in the UK in 2021 by Total Assets

Is Revolut a building society?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Revolut Ltd.

Type Private
Industry Financial technology
Founded 1 July 2015 ; 8 years ago
  • Nikolay Storonsky
  • Vlad Yatsenko
Headquarters London, England, UK
Key people Nikolay Storonsky ( CEO ), Vlad Yatsenko ( CTO )
Products current accounts, debit cards, stock trading, currency exchange, foreign exchange, insurance
Services Peer-to-peer payments, currency exchange
Revenue €375 million (2022)
Net income €26 million (2022)
Number of employees 6,000 (2023)
Website revolut,com

Revolut is a global neobank and financial technology company that offers banking services. Revolut Bank UAB is licensed and regulated by the Bank of Lithuania within the European Union, Headquartered in London, it was founded in 2015 by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko,

  • It offers accounts featuring currency exchange, debit cards, virtual cards, Apple Pay, interest-bearing “vaults”, stock trading, crypto, commodities, and other services.
  • In 2020 Revolut expanded into Japan and the US and expanded its staff from 1,500 to 6,000.
  • In November 2020 it was breaking even and, with a £4.2 billion valuation became the UK’s most valuable fintech company.

In January 2021 Revolut applied for a UK banking licence, but as of December 2022 the outcome was still awaited. A US$800 million funding round in July 2021 brought the company’s valuation to US$33 billion, making it the most valuable UK tech startup at the time.

Who uses building societies?

Key Takeaways –

Building societies provide banking and other financial services to their members.They are similar to credit unions but their members are typically those in construction trades, real estate, or co-op housing.Building societies are conservative in their approach to investment and savings as compared to banks or other financial institutions.

Is my money safe in a bank or building society?

All banks and building societies authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). It’s an independent service that protects your money if your financial service provider goes bust. In the unlikely event this happens, you’ll be repaid by a Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

The FSCS guarantees your money up to £85,000 per person, per institution. Joint accounts have protection up to £170,000. You can find out if your bank or building society is covered by checking the Financial Services Register, You’ll be covered up to the maximum of £85,000 for the sum of your accounts at the same bank or building society.

If you have money in accounts at more than one bank or building society, the FSCS has a protection checker you can use to see what’s covered.

Why use building societies?

Lower running costs – On average, a building society is cheaper to run than a bank as it’s owned by its members. This could mean that the savings are passed on to the members in the form of competitive interest rates.

What is the largest building society in the world?

Nationwide Building Society British mutual financial institution and the largest building society in the world Nationwide Building Society

  • Nationwide Building Society (2001–present)
  • Hearth (2023–present)

Type, ()

  • Cheshire Building Society (2009–2023)
  • Dunfermline Direct (2009–2023)
  • Dunfermline Building Society (2009–2023)
  • The Derbyshire (2012–2023)
  • Nationwide Financial Solutions (2012–2022)
  • KPR Debt Collection (2013–2014)
  • Nationwide International (2014–2014; 2014–2023)
  • Nationwide for Business (2019–2019; 2019–2022)

Industry and Founded1884 ; 139 years ago ( 1884 ) Headquarters, England Number of locations 686 Key people

  • Kevin Parry (chairman)
  • (chief executive)


  • investments
  • insurance
  • credit cards

Revenue 3.86 billion (2022) £1.60 billion (2022) £1.25 billion (2022) £272 billion (2022) £15.7 billion (2022) Number of employees 17,680 (2022)Website Footnotes / references Nationwide Building Society is a British financial institution, the seventh largest and the largest in the world with over 16 million members.

Its headquarters are in, England. Nationwide is made up of around 250 different building societies. Among the most significant mergers were those with the in 1987 and the in 2007. It is now the second largest provider of household and in the UK and has a 10.3% market share of for the 2021/2022 financial year.

: 15  For the financial year 2021/2022, Nationwide had assets of around £272.4 billion : 57  compared to £483 billion for the entire building society sector, making it larger than the remaining 42 British building societies combined. It is a member of the, the and,

What do you put for building society account?

Key Takeaways –

Building societies are financial institutions owned by their members, offering a range of banking services. A building society roll number is an alphanumeric reference code used to identify individual building society accounts, allowing for smooth payment processing. To find your building society roll number, check your account statements or original documentation provided when you opened the account. If not found, contact your building society’s customer service or access your online banking app for the information. When making payments to a building society account, it’s essential to use the roll number as the reference, without adding any additional characters. Using it correctly ensures that the funds are allocated to the correct account. Building societies differ from banks in ownership structure, customer focus, and product offerings. Building societies are owned by members, prioritise customer service, and often specialise in mortgage lending and demand-deposit accounts.

What is a building society for dummies?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia A high street building society branch, in Banbury A building society is a financial institution owned by its members as a mutual organization, which offers banking and related financial services, especially savings and mortgage lending, They exist in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, and formerly in Ireland and several Commonwealth countries, including South Africa as mutual banks.

  • They are similar to credit unions, but rather than promoting thrift and offering unsecured and business loans, the purpose of a building society is to provide home mortgages to members.
  • Borrowers and depositors are society members, setting policy and appointing directors on a one-member, one-vote basis.

Building societies often provide other retail banking services, such as current accounts, credit cards and personal loans. The term “building society” first arose in the 19th century in Great Britain from cooperative savings groups. In the United Kingdom, building societies compete with banks for most consumer banking services, especially mortgage lending and savings accounts, and regulations permit up to half of their lending to be funded by debt to non-members, allowing societies to access wholesale bond and money markets to fund mortgages.

What is the largest building society in the UK?

Nationwide Building Society is the largest building society in the UK.

Is Santander a building society?

Since its entry into the UK market in November 2004, Santander UK has transformed, moving from its heritage of three former building societies to a full-service retail and commercial bank. – 2017 We successfully rolled out NeoCRM, our customer relationship management tool, which allows our customers to engage with us through any channel and be able to pick up the conversation where they left off through any channel 2016 As part of our omni-channel customer experience we launched investment Hub, a digital end-to-end mortgage application process, the Kabbage online loan platform and rolled out a new customer relationship management tool 2015 As part of our ongoing digitisation focus, we launched the Kitti and Spendlytics apps and were one of the first banks to support Apple Pay 2014 Santander UK Group Holdings plc established as part of our new operating structure, to create a ‘single point of entry’ in case of resolution 2012 1|2|3 World suite of products was launched – embodying our vision of Simple, Personal and Fair banking for all 2011 In our commitment to be the ‘Bank of choice’ for UK companies, the Breakthrough programme was launched-bringing funding, expertise and business support to high-growth SMEs 2010 Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley rebranded as Santander UK 2009 Alliance & Leicester plc transferred to Santander UK plc (acquired by Banco Santander, S.A. in 2008) 2008 Bradford & Bingley savings business and branches acquired by Santander UK plc 2004 Abbey National plc acquired by Banco Santander, S.A.1992- 2002 Multiple acquisitions take place with the expansion of Abbey National into other areas of banking, with brands acquired including Scottish Mutual, Cater Allen, Lombard and Scottish Provident, alongside the merger with National and Provincial Building Society 1989 After banking laws were changed in mid-80s, Abbey National became the first building society in the UK to demutualise, with listing on the London Stock Exchange completed in 1989 1944 Abbey National Building Society formed with the merger of two building societies; Abbey Road Building Society and National Building Society 1874 Abbey Road & St.

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What is HSBC Swift code UK?

Do HSBC Bank SWIFT codes change from branch to branch? – Each HSBC Bank branch has a unique SWIFT code. You can check the correct SWIFT codes for your HSBC Bank branch here. However, if you’re not sure, or can’t find the branch code, you can use the 8 character head office SWIFT code, and your payment will still make its way to your account.

Is HSBC a UK bank?

This article is about the HSBC Group. For individual entities of the group, see HSBC Bank,

HSBC Holdings plc

Headquarters at 8 Canada Square in Canary Wharf, London
Type Public limited company
Traded as
  • LSE : HSBA
  • SEHK : 5
  • FTSE 100 component (HSBA)
  • Hang Seng component (5)
Industry Financial services
  • First established on 3 March 1865 ; 158 years ago in British Hong Kong (as The Hongkong and Shanghai Bank )
  • First incorporated on 14 August 1866 ; 157 years ago (as The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation )
  • 25 March 1991 ; 32 years ago in London (as HSBC Holdings plc, as parent holding company to the entity in Hong Kong now as a subsidiary)
Founder Sir Thomas Sutherland (for The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation branch)
Headquarters 8 Canada Square London, England, UK
Area served Worldwide
Key people
  • Mark Tucker ( Group Chairman )
  • Noel Quinn ( Group Chief Executive )
  • Asset management
  • Banking
  • Commodities
  • Credit cards
  • Equities trading
  • Insurance
  • Investment banking
  • Investment management
  • Mortgage loans
  • Mutual funds
  • Private equity
  • Securities services
  • Risk management
  • Wealth management
Revenue US$ 51.727 billion (2022)
Operating income US$17.528 billion (2022)
Net income US$16.670 billion (2022)
AUM US$595 billion (2022)
Total assets US$2.966 trillion (2022)
Total equity US$196.028 billion (2022)
Number of employees 219,199 (2022)
Subsidiaries Subsidiaries
Website hsbc,com

HSBC Holdings plc (former name: The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation ) is a British universal bank and financial services group headquartered in London, England, with unique historical and business links to East Asia and a highly multinational footprint.

  1. It is the largest Europe-based bank by total assets, ahead of BNP Paribas, with US$2.953 trillion as of December 2021.
  2. In 2021, HSBC had $10.8 trillion in assets under custody (AUC) and $4.9 trillion in assets under administration (AUA).
  3. HSBC traces its origin to a hong trading house in British Hong Kong,

The bank opened branches in Shanghai in 1865 and was first formally incorporated in 1866. In 1991, the present parent legal entity, HSBC Holdings plc, was established in London and the historic Hong-Kong-based bank from whose initials the group took its name became that entity’s fully-owned subsidiary.

The next year (1992), HSBC took over Midland Bank and thus became one of the largest domestic banks in the United Kingdom. HSBC has offices, branches and subsidiaries in 62 countries and territories across Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, North America, and South America, serving around 39 million customers.

As of 2023, it was ranked no.20 in the world in the Forbes rankings of large companies ranked by sales, profits, assets, and market value. HSBC has a dual primary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the Hang Seng Index and the FTSE 100 Index,

Is my money safe in a bank or building society?

All banks and building societies authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). It’s an independent service that protects your money if your financial service provider goes bust. In the unlikely event this happens, you’ll be repaid by a Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

The FSCS guarantees your money up to £85,000 per person, per institution. Joint accounts have protection up to £170,000. You can find out if your bank or building society is covered by checking the Financial Services Register, You’ll be covered up to the maximum of £85,000 for the sum of your accounts at the same bank or building society.

If you have money in accounts at more than one bank or building society, the FSCS has a protection checker you can use to see what’s covered.

Is Revolut a bank or building society?

Revolut Business is a bank in some regions we operate in, including the EEA (European Economic Area). Revolut Bank UAB holds a full banking license in Lithuania, allowing us to offer cross-border banking services to our business customers in the EEA.

Is a building society mortgage the same as a bank?

A building society – Building societies offer similar services to a bank, but are often more flexible, as they are structured as a cooperative, so there is more focus on member needs. This means that they can sometimes offer preferable rates, or consider applicants/properties that a bank may deem too risky.