The report identifies four key themes.
- There are different strategies and areas of commercial focus available to societies, and selection and focus are critical to success.
- Mutuality can become a point of difference with greater relevance to customers, possibly with a modernised focus on social purpose.
- Meaningful community engagement is core to regional success, customer engagement and branch-based savings.
- Societies will need to continue to invest for a digitally enabled future, to support customer engagement, distribution and operating efficiency.
The research for the report involved a quantitative data analysis of all 43 building societies, interviews with 33 building society CEOs, and an online survey which received a total of 134 respondents.
Some of the research findings:
- 93% of building societies who responded say mutuality affects their decision making.
- 66% of building societies who responded consider mutuality is about culture, values and social purpose.
- 71% of building societies who responded consider the branch network to be a critical part of regionality.
- 90% of building societies who responded believe community involvement is a commitment to regionality.
- 67% of building societies who responded identify digital transformation as the primary challenge over the next 5 years.
- 65% of all stakeholders surveyed believe Open Banking to be an opportunity for the sector.