Tuesday, 15 September 2009


Last week I was privileged to be elected Deputy Chairman by fellow members of the Building Societies Association Council. The present Chairman is Graham Beale the Chief Executive at Nationwide so I'm delighted to be in such exhalted company! My brief will be to assist the Chairman in promoting and protecting the interests of the building society sector during this period of seismic change in our financial landscape. Specifically I want to represent small,local building societies whose franchise with customers remains very strong despite the turbulence in financial markets and whose traditional business model should be nurtured and strengthened , and certainly not damaged by the inevitable regulatory focus which will (rightly) emerge as a consequence of the demise of some of our larger UK banks. Small building societies have a key role in providing choice and distintiveness in our marketplace .If the credit crunch and the recession have taught us one lesson it should be that big isn't necessarily beautiful. What matters is the quality of a business and it's proximity to customers needs , not it's asset-size, and that is another great reason for mutuals to be optimistic about thriving in the emerging new financial services world.

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