The Britannia Building Society and Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) have announced they are to merge, creating what has been dubbed a super-mutual in the process.
The coming together of CFS, part of the world's biggest consumer co-operative, with Britannia, the UK's second biggest building society, will create a business with £70 billion of assets, nine million customers, 12,000 employees and more than 300 branches.
Before the deal can go ahead, Britannia members will be asked for their approval in a vote expected to take place on 29 April 2009.
The Britannia and Co-operative brands, as well as the Smile internet bank brand are all set to be retained, with customers seeing no immediate change to the products and services they receive.
The Financial Services Authority has already confirmed that savers who have accounts with both organisations will retain their £50,000 protection with both businesses under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
"The combined and complementary strengths of our businesses will offer customers a strong, fair and ethical, alternative to banking plcs," said Britannia chairman Rodney Baker-Bates. "Customers will be owners and will have available all the services they would expect from a major financial provider, together with a real say in setting strategy combined with a share of the profits."
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