A view from the floor

At a time of regulatory change, some in the industry question if small societies will be able to cope. This is nonsense. Many small societies are participants in collaborative ventures such as Mutual One, which has worked on behalf of societies to produce compliance manuals covering the introduction of the Financial Services and Markets Act, and the upcoming N4 regulation. Over 40 societies have ordered the Mortgage Day manual along with seven other lenders, while a good number have also registered interest in purchasing the insurance compliance 2005 manual. Mutual One is a great example of a shared service organisation producing a positive compliance outcome for the sector. Societies have coped with regulatory change remarkably well since they were formed, they have been early adopters of the mortgage compliance requirements and they have a wide range of competitive mortgage products.

Although the managements of small societies have to have a range of skills – strategy, finance, marketing, HR and compliance – all have one thing in common: a desire to succeed and to offer prospective customers competitive products and comprehensive advice, all within a compliance framework designed to protect the consumer.