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Building Societies Demutualisation in the UK

Stephens, M. (2001) Building Societies Demutualisation in the UK. Housing Studies, 16 (3). pp. 335-352. ISSN 0267-3037

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In the mid-1990s several building societies in the UK ceased to be mutual organisations and became public limited companies (plcs). This paper seeks to explain this change, which has ended the building societies' historic dominance of the mortgage market. The thesis that mutuality had become redundant as an ownership form is rejected. Structural changes in the industry have presented mortgage lenders with strategic choices, rather than dictated a single viable course. Structural change necessitated demutualisation only in the limited cases where a larger plc took over a small mutual. Case studies of each of the building societies that have converted indicated four other principal reasons for demutualisation: (1) an attempt to maintain full organisational independence; (2) an attempt to maintain operational independence; (3) a growth by acquisition strategy; and (4) a members' revolt. Along with the continued commitment to mutuality of some societies, these represent a variety of responses to structural change.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Social Policy and Social Work (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 22 May 2009 14:09
Last Modified: 22 May 2009 14:09
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02673030120049706
Status: Published
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Identification Number: 10.1080/02673030120049706
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6273

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