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Mutuality, de-mutualization and communities: The implications of branch network rationalization in the British building society industry

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


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The paper examines the withdrawal of branches from local communities by financial institutions. It assesses whether mutually owned building societies are more adept than the former societies that have converted to public limited companies (plcs), or the high street banks, in serving disadvantaged communities. The paper shows that during the mid-1990s: mutual building societies were more likely than former societies that have converted to plcs to maintain their branch network; mutual societies were less likely than banks to withdraw from socially deprived locations and more likely to open branches in such places; differences between mutual societies and convertors are less marked, but mutual institutions appear less likely than convertors to close branches in deprived communities. Among the remaining mutual building societies there are differences of perspective, with more commercially-minded societies less positive than socially-concerned mutuals about the need to maintain or even expand branches in disadvantaged areas.

Publication metadata

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

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Year: 2000

Volume: 25

Issue: 3

Pages: 355-378

ISSN (print): 0020-2754

ISSN (electronic): 1475-5661

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/j.0020-2754.2000.00355.x


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