Challenges, BSA Members

The BSA Yearbook 2017/18: All Building Societies Association members and key trends

Charlotte Bell

Charlotte Bell

The guide to who’s who and what’s what in the world of building societies is here. The 2017/18 BSA Yearbook has just been released, featuring a full list of Building Societies Association Members and some excellent in-depth articles from senior leaders within our membership. Highlighting the key trends and contacts you need to work in this sector, this is a must-have handbook for anyone looking to do business with building societies in 2018. Get your copy today.

Who are the Building Societies Association members?

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 12.43.37.pngAll the UK’s building societies are members of the Building Societies Association and we also represent four credit unions. Together these organisations have total assets of over £374 billion.  

Building societies deliver around one in every three new mortgages.  Including their subsidiaries, they hold residential mortgage balances of over £292 billion - this
 equates to 22% of all outstanding mortgages in the UK. They also hold over £265 billion of retail deposits - 18% of all such deposits in the UK - including 34% of cash ISA balances.

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 12.45.21.pngBuilding societies serve around 23 million customers - the largest membership network in the UK.  They employ around 40,000 full and part-time staff and operate through 1,550 branches as well as on line and via the phone.

Want to know more about this dynamic area of financial services? The BSA Yearbook offers a huge amount of data and key contacts that will give you the best possible picture of the sector, leaving you fully informed and ready to work with the mutuals within it.

What are the key trends Building Societies Association members care about?

Older borrowers
The UK has an ageing population. Research commissioned by the BSA from the UK International Longevity Centre (UK-ILC) and published in May 2017 showed that the need for people to borrow for longer and later in life is growing. Already there are clear signs that the traditional homebuyer journey – buy in your 20s; trade up in your 30s and 40s; pay off debt in your 50s and 60s and retire mortgage free is
changing. Building societies saw the proportion of lending to borrowers with terms taking them beyond age 65 rise to 38% during 2016. Already, all UK building societies have reviewed their lending policies and 34 will lend up to age 80 or beyond. The risks of lending to older borrowers are different but must be grappled with, as this societal change is unstoppable.

Helping to solve the housing crisis
This work goes well beyond our traditional role of mortgage lending, which already sees societies lend to consumers with more complex needs, from zero hours contracts and self-employment through to self-builders and shared ownership. The bottom line is that we will never solve the housing crisis until demand and supply are in better balance.That means building more homes to buy and homes to rent. With challenges over skills and materials in the building industry, greater use of modern methods of construction – off-site – could be a part of the solution. We are working across the wider industry to make sure that lenders can play their part in this nascent sector.  We can learn much from countries like the Netherlands where these forms of construction have been in use since the 1970s.

Serving the vulnerable customer
Vulnerability – and supporting vulnerable customers – is becoming an increasingly important responsibility for financial services. As technology advances people are becoming more independent and self-contained. Many no longer know their neighbours; fewer still would borrow a cup of sugar from them let alone spot signs of vulnerability. To this end – and just one way in which the sector is addressing vulnerability – the BSA worked with the British Bankers Association (now UK Finance) and other key organisations to develop the ‘Addressing Financial Abuse Framework’. The framework outlines how to support customers who may be in an abusive relationship. The framework highlights the importance of encouraging disclosure and validating it, as well as how to deal with abuse when disclosed, for example specific arrangements to people who share joint products.

You’ll find a wealth of detail, knowledge and expertise on these trends in the editorial section of the BSA Yearbook 2017/18.