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The transformation of the British building society movement: Managerial divisions and corporate reorganization, 1986-1997

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Neill Marshall, Ranald Richardson, Dr Simon Raybould, Emeritus Professor Mike Coombes


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The paper examines the impact of re-regulation of the British building society industry, between 1986 and 1997. Re-regulation of retail financial markets has split the building society movement between those, mainly large societies, which regard regulation as too restrictive and have decided to become more broadly-based public-limited companies, and the remaining, predominantly medium and smaller-sized building societies, that intend to continue to focus on personal savings and mortgage business. Both sets of companies are pursuing a strategy of consolidation in response to the more competitive environment promoted by regulatory change. The analysis of this restructuring provides a different perspective on the British financial sector, because unlike most of the financial sector, the building society movement is northern-based. Nevertheless, analysis of branch networks suggests that large societies are being attracted to the South East by the higher levels of income and wealth in that area. In contrast, branch closures have been mainly in smaller urban centres, in the north and west of Britain. It seems, however, in the short term at least, that this rationalization is unlikely to be on the scale found in the banking sector. ©1997 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Marshall JN, Richardson RGW, Raybould SR, Coombes MG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geoforum

Year: 1997

Volume: 28

Issue: 3-4

Pages: 271-288

Print publication date: 01/08/1997

ISSN (print): 0016-7185

ISSN (electronic): 1872-9398


DOI: 10.1016/S0016-7185(97)00011-0


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