Co-operative Permanent Building Society

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Co-operative Permanent Building Society
Building Society (Mutual)
FateChange of name
SuccessorNationwide Building Society
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom

The Co-operative Permanent Building Society was a mutual building society, providing mortgages and savings accounts to its members. Its head office was located at New Oxford House in London.[1] In 1970, it was renamed the Nationwide Building Society.


The Southern Co-operative Permanent Building Society was formed in 1884, initially to provide a service to the members of the co-operative movement, enabling them to own their own properties. To begin with the Society built the houses but soon changed its direction to lend money to members for them to build their own or purchase existing properties. Competition soon began between societies and members from outside the movement joined.[2]

Through rapid expansion and strategic planning the Society soon grew to become a major competitor and by 1943 it was fifth largest in the United Kingdom with assets of £32,724,112.[3]

Transfers of engagements[edit]

Date Society Assets Ref.
1918 Bournemouth, Hants & Dorset Building Society [4]
June 1942 Whitehall Building Society £141,671 [3]
Sept. 1942 Southampton & South Hants Building Society £130,566 [3]
Oct. 1942 The Institute Permanent Benefit Building Society £242,225 [3]
Dec. 1942 Finsbury Building Society £430,029 [3]
Dec. 1942 Nineteenth Building Society £313,612 [3]
Feb. 1943 Wandsworth Building Society £334,603 [3]
Feb. 1943 Kensington Permanent Benefit Building Society £84,538 [3]
Feb. 1943 Great Torrington Building Society £217,275 [3]
June 1943 Bournemouth Working Men's Building Society £66,236 [3]
Nov. 1943 Lombardian Permanent Benefit Building Society £75,171 [3]
April 1944 Western Equitable Permanent Mutual Benefit Building Society £20,540 [3]
May 1944 Thames Estuary Building Society £303,311 [3]
Feb. 1945 Picadilly Permanent Building Society £30,485 [3]
July 1946 Rock (Llanelly) Permanent Building Society £33,795 [3]
April 1947 Middlesex Building Society £14,515 [3]
Oct. 1951 Empire Benefit Building Society £93,999 [3]
Feb. 1956 Exeter Benefit Building Society £3,624,142 [3]
Sept. 1956 Merthyr & Dowlais Permanent Benefit Building Society £14,684 [3]
June 1958 Scottish Amicable Building Society £22,578,901 [3]
Sept. 1963 British Co-operative Building Society £21,046 [3]
June 1966 Coleraine Building Society £301,539 [3]

The society changed its name to Nationwide Building Society in September 1970 following a member vote. The name, suggested by then chairman, Leonard Williams, was borrowed from the BBC current affairs programme of the same name.[5]

The Co-operative Permanent laid the foundations of the largest building society in the world. In 1987, Nationwide merged with Northampton-based Anglia Building Society, initially becoming Nationwide Anglia before reverting to the Nationwide name in 1992.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mutuals Public Register (No. 141B) Financial Services Authority (retrieved 17 November 2009)
  2. ^ Mansbridge, Albert Brick upon Brick: 50 years of the Co-operative Permanent Building Society London: JM Dent & Sons, 1934
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Cassell, Michael Inside Nationwide: 100 Years of Co-operation London: Nationwide Building Society, 1984 (ISBN 9780950838205)
  4. ^ Extract from Building Societies Yearbook 2009/10 Archived November 9, 2013, at the Wayback Machine (p.130) Building Societies Association (retrieved 17 November 2009)
  5. ^ Obituary of Leonard Williams The Times, 27 June 2007