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A view from the floor

There has been plenty of press comment over recent months on the merging of building societies.

Unquestionably the pressure on all financial institutions is increasing. Margin pressure is unrelenting, the tide of regulation from both Westminster and Europe shows no sign of abating and the pace of change in technology means that many customers now want and expect a multi-channel distribution option.

These pressures are significant challenges for building societies in general and for small and medium-sized building societies in particular. I believe that local building societies are important to local communities and it is vital that we think laterally to ensure that such organisations are well prepared for the future.

I believe the key to future success is the ability and the will for building societies to work together. There are a number of examples of this working well (which include our own subsidiary company, Newcastle Strategic Solutions). To date, however, collaboration is small scale as compared with what has been achieved in Europe, and particularly in Scandinavia. We need to grasp the opportunities but without threatening the independence of our fellow building societies.


L&G extends its trading platform

Legal & General has extended its electronic trading systems for its protection range so that more cases can be processed automatically through the whole new business process. The company has enabled IFAs and business partners using its eProtection Choices range to benefit from an automated underwriting service similar to that of its Online Term Assurance […]

HRP paper delay slammed

Mortgage providers have criticised delays in the publication of the Treasury&#39s consultation paper on home reversion plans. The document will enable the government to poll the industry as to the suitability of home reversion schemes falling under the regulatory umbrella. Although Norwich Union welcomes the steps taken by the Treasury it says that, with a […]

Moneysupermarket founder named Entrepreneur of the Year founder Simon Nixon has been named Entrepreneur of the Year at the National Business Awards 2003. Described by Gordon Brown as the “Business Oscars” , the awards were sponsored by Orange and held at London&#39s Grosvenor House Hotel this week. On top of chief executive Nixon scooping the much coveted Entrepreneur of the Year […]

Chelsea increases SVR to 5.74%

Chelsea has announced a 0.30% increase in its standard variable rate from 5.44% to 5.74%. The rate will come into effect for new borrowers on November 26 and December 1 for existing borrowers. The rate change is in response to the recent increase in the Bank of England base rate.


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