1.1.4 Building Societies
Around the time that the banking industry was starting to take its contemporary shape, another facet of modern-day financial services was emerging. Building societies were formed in huge numbers during the nineteenth century, particularly in the north of England, as a means for those on modest incomes to be able to buy their own house. They were formed as ‘mutual’ organisations with each of the building societies being owned by its mortgage and savings customers – its ‘members’. This ownership status compares with that of companies, which are owned by their shareholders, with those who are just customers having no ownership rights.
In the following video Martin talks about the origins and evolution of the building societies sector in the UK.