Mutuals come into their own as scandals hit banking sector
Paul Winter, Chief Executive of Ipswich Building Society has urged the public not to lose trust in financial institutions following the scandals which have hit the banking sector.
Barclay’s CEO Bob Diamond has been forced to resign following revelations that the bank tried to manipulate inter-bank lending rates whilst computer failures at NatWest/RBS last week left thousands of customers in difficulty and out of pocket.
Speaking of the scandals, Paul Winter said: “It’s been a tough time for the banking sector, and clearly public confidence is at an all-time low with financial institutions. But I would urge members of the public to keep their faith and look at the alternatives on offer from building societies which continually work hard for the benefit of their customers.”
He continued: “We know from regular feedback with our own customers that they feel that they can trust us and believe that our decisions are always made with their best interests in mind.”
Ipswich Building Society is a mutual organisation, which means that it is wholly owned by its customers (‘members’) who have a savings or mortgage account. Unlike the banks, which have to report directly to shareholders, Ipswich Building Society’s members all have the opportunity to have a say in how the Society is run and they have a vote on Society matters during its Annual General Meeting Another key difference is that building societies have a limit on the proportion of their funds they can raise from the wholesale money markets.
Paul concluded: “We have noticed that more and more of our customers come to us as they know that as a mutual, we will always be working ethically and responsibly. Our success has been down to the trust shown in us by our members and we are keen to continue this for many years to come.”
For more information about Ipswich Building Society, please see www.ibs.co.uk