East Anglia: ‘Time to shine’ for building societies, says KPMG report

A BUILDING society boss says he is “not surprised” at the findings of a new report which predicts the sector will enter a renewed period of potential growth after faring better than banks in the financial crisis.

KPMG’s 22nd annual Building Societies Database, which analyses the performance of the UK’s 47 building societies as at April 2012, says the sector has remained resilient despite difficult market conditions, with 23 societies increasing their profit for the year.

Ipswich Building Society chief executive Paul Winter said members valued the service and products they offered.

“The banking sector has been dogged with problems in recent years, from their bailout by the Government and the LIBOR fixing scandal, so it is unsurprising that more customers are turning to building societies,” he said.

“The KPMG database delivers an informed opinion based on hard results collected from across the sector and Ipswich Building Society has been able to grow consistently and make a modest profit without compromising our values, reflecting KPMG’s view that building societies are well placed for the future.”

The report also showed the total group assets of the 47 societies have grown to �315.4billion, compared to �306.2bn in 2011’s analysis. The increase reverses a �13bn contraction over two years. KPMG’s Richard Gabbertas said societies could fulfil a new role as regional banks.

“In many respects it is their time to shine,” he said.