These were once a major national savings institution and for well over 200 years the main source of house-purchase mortgages. Now building society mortgages represent a small proportion of the market. Since the Building Societies Act in 1986 the whole the operation and structure of building societies has changed and many former societies are now mortgage banks. Abbey National, Halifax, Alliance & Leicester, Northern Rock, and the Woolwich were all former building societies.
The Nationwide, and most of the other remaining building societies, argue that they are able to offer a better service, and cheaper loans, than the banks which must distribute profits as dividends to their outside shareholders. What must be conceded is that following the relaxations, introduced over the last 20 years, there is now a far greater degree of competition between individual building societies, and the mortgage banks, than ever before. And many more types of mortgage are on the market.
Another consequence is that terms
and conditions are constantly being revised with a vast variety of loans now available.
While the variation in the net costs of a straightforward mortgage may be relatively
small they could be more significant in the case of older property or if your
application is unusual in any way. Specialist advice is absolute essential whether
you wish to borrow money or have savings to invest – do talk to us. If we
cannot give you the necessary advice ourselves we will introduce you to someone
reliable who can.