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Top 5 Building Societies in the UK (October 2020 ranking)

By Megha Bhattacharya

October 27, 2020

  • Coventry Building Society
  • Nationwide Building Society
  • UK

uk building societyOriginally created in Birmingham, a building society is a member-owned, mutually operated financial institution that features many of the services one would find at a conventional bank, with a particular focus on savings accounts and mortgage options. Building societies are usually found in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

UK building societies aim to provide better interest rates on savings, more affordable mortgage options, and often, higher levels of service.

Many of the UK’s leading building society demutualised in the 1980s and 1990s. This meant they are no longer non-profit making societies but can operate as banks. Some examples of demutualised building societies are Britannia in 2009 and Kent Reliance in 2011.

Check out the top 5 building societies in the UK –

  1. Nationwide Building Society

Headquartered in England, Nationwide Building Society is the largest in the world with around 15 million members. It offers household savings and mortgages in the UK and has a 7.7% market share of current accounts.

This year, UK-based mortgage technology solutions provider, Mortgage Brain announced that Nationwide has joined its multi-lender application and submission gateway, Lendex. The development will allow intermediaries to request a Decision in Principle (DIP) and submitting full applications with Nationwide through the Lendex system as a result. Mortgage Brain’s Lendex provides lenders with an affordable digital gateway for advisers and is available to all lenders.

In March, Glasgow-based provider of financial controls and regulatory reporting software solutions, AutoRek announced a partnership with Nationwide for the provision of cloud-based financial controls and data management platform for an initial period of three years with the option of a two-year extension.

Nationwide was formed as a result of many mergers including its merger with Anglia Building Society in 1987 and Portman Building Society in 2007.

  1. Coventry Building Society

Based in Coventry, England, this building society is the second largest in the United Kingdom with total assets of more than £49 billion at 31 December 2019. The society has 1.5m saver-members and a further 350,000 borrower-members.

In 2018, Accenture was selected by Coventry Building Society as its delivery partner in a major transformation of Coventry’s core banking platform. The program involved the implementation of a new system based on IRESS’s and Temenos’s core banking solutions, which will support the society’s mortgage and savings origination, product management and customer servicing.

The organisation is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by both the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

  1. Yorkshire Building Society

The third-largest building society in the UK, Yorkshire Building Society currently provides financial services both directly and through a 143-strong branch network and 99 associated agencies across the UK.

Last year, low-code platform solutions provider OutSystems has announced that the Yorkshire has selected the supplier’s solution in a bid to deliver its customer-facing e-commerce platform and mobile applications for its retail banking and broker customers. According to the supplier, the partnership is expected to upgrade the building society’s back-office systems and enhance its customer experience as well as its security posture.

The society also owns the Chelsea Building Society and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, as well as Accord Mortgages and the savings business of Egg, which are referred to as the Yorkshire Building Society Group.

  1. Skipton Building Society

Established in 1853, the Skipton Building Society is the 4th largest in the UK with over 1 million members and 100 branches.

Recently, mortgage technology provider, Twenty7Tec, announced that it is signed an agreement with Skipton Building Society that will support the seamless integration of TwentyTec’s APPLY module with Skipton’s origination platform.  Both parties are working on the integration at present with a targeted roll-out planned in Q1 2021. Twenty7Tec will be the first third party to integrate with Skipton.

The Society has several subsidiary companies, mostly in the financial services groups including Connells Group, one of the largest estate agency networks in the UK with 542 branches across the country. In 2010, it merged with the Chesham Building Society, founded in 1845, which was at the time the world’s oldest surviving building society.

  1. Leeds Building Society

Leeds Building Society serves approximately 719,000 customers across the United Kingdom, who together hold £9.9 billion in savings balances and is the fifth largest building society in the UK.

Recently, Leeds added a new ISA – paying a variable rate of 0.80% tax free† p.a./AER* – to its tax-free savings range. The Double Access ISA offers those looking for a better rate without locking their money away for a fixed term the reassurance of knowing they can make two withdrawals per annum without penalty.

The society was registered as the Leeds and Holbeck (Permanent) Building Society in 1875, though the society originated from a group called the Leeds Union Operative Land and Building Society which formed in 1845. The society was renamed to Leeds Building Society in September 2005. It has 65 branches across the UK, with 29 located in Yorkshire, with two international branches located in Gibraltar and Dublin, Ireland.

READ MORE: UK Financial Services Technology Market Report by IBS Intelligence 

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