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Building societies come out on top

Building societies come out on top

Category: Banking

Updated: 26/07/2012
First Published: 26/07/2012

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Building society customers are generally more satisfied than their banking counterparts.

Societies, or mutuals as they are also known, differ from banks because they are owned by their customers, rather than external shareholders.

Many customers perceive building societies to be more trustworthy, offer good value for money and treat their customers fairly. Also, unlike banks, mutuals have kept their noses clean and have not been linked to any controversies such as rate fixing.

According to a survey by the Building Societies Association, during the last half of 2011, 69% of customers who held mortgages with mutuals were extremely or very satisfied with their service. This is 12% more than borrowers at banks.

Trust is, quite rightly, a big issue for financial service customers. This is reflected by the fact that two thirds, or 67%, of building society customers believe their provider looks after their best interests, compared to 58% of banking customers.

Adrian Coles, director-general of the BSA, said: "It is clear that the different business approach that the mutuals have, because they are customer not shareholder owned, translates into something tangible and positive for consumers.

"Whilst our members constantly work to do more and better for their customers, consumers plainly already value the difference. Many are showing this by investing and borrowing through building societies and other mutuals and we have seen a significant up-tick since the recent rash of plc bank-related issues."

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