Users' questions

What does a mutual building society mean?

What does a mutual building society mean?

Building societies are mutual organisations, which means they are owned by their customers. They offer current and savings accounts and mortgages so they can be an alternative option to a traditional bank.

What is a mutual building?

A building society is a financial institution owned by its members as a mutual organization. Building societies exist in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, and used to exist in Ireland and several Commonwealth countries. They are similar to credit unions in organisation, though few enforce a common bond.

What means building society?

A building society is a type of financial institution that provides banking and other financial services to its members. Building societies resemble credit unions in the U.S. in that they are owned entirely by their members. These societies offer mortgages and demand-deposit accounts.

What was the first building society?

Ketley’s Building Society
The first building society, called Ketley’s Building Society, was established in 1775 by Richard Ketley, a landlord of the Golden Cross inn. Taverns and coffeehouses were a base point for many of the early building societies.

Are building societies safe?

Cash you put into UK banks or building societies – that are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority – is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS deposit protection limit is £85,000 per authorised firm.

What is the difference between a credit union and a building society?

Credit Unions offer many of the same services as banks and Building Societies, such as savings accounts, chequing accounts (share draft accounts), loans, etc. Credit Unions are owned and run by its members, for the benefit of its members. Some Credit Unions have different lending criteria or rules for loans.

What are the advantages of building societies?

The advantages of choosing building societies over banks

  • Favourable interest rates for smaller savers. When you compare interest rates between high-street banks and building societies, the latter is normally kinder to consumers.
  • Innovative mortgage products.
  • A personable, trustworthy alternative.

How did the building society start?

Building Societies hail from the 18th century. They started an era of cooperative savings and loans groups based on the principle of mutualisation. The first building society started in Birmingham during its halcyon days of rapid economic growth, based on the metalworking industry that brought much prosperity.

Do you lose your money if a bank closes?

If your bank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or your credit union is insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), your money is protected up to legal limits in case that institution fails. This means you won’t lose your money if your bank goes out of business.

What are the disadvantages of building societies?


  • Building societies are not as secure as they have historically been. The choice of mutual is falling and failures have become more commonplace.
  • Many building societies have geographical restrictions.
  • Building societies often have a restricted choice of products.

What are the disadvantages of credit unions?

Cons of credit unions

  • Must be a member: You can’t step into any credit union and take out a loan or open an account without joining the financial institution first.
  • Limited accessibility: Credit unions tend to have fewer branches.

Are credit unions safer than banks?

Why are credit unions safer than banks? Like banks, which are federally insured by the FDIC, credit unions are insured by the NCUA, making them just as safe as banks. The NCUSIF provides all members of federally insured credit unions with $250,000 in coverage for their single ownership accounts.