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Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Catholic Building Society in merger deal
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¬†The Catholic Building Society is set to merge with the larger Chelsea Building Society it has been announced. The two groups are currently in early stage discussions and the final details of the deal have yet to be worked out. Under the proposals, the Catholic would transfer its mortgage and savings book to the Chelsea at a future date, triggering a windfall for its 3,500-plus members, the size of which has not yet been decided. The Catholic is the UK's 57th biggest society and had assets of just £44 million at the end of last year. By contrast Chelsea is the UK's fifth biggest building society with assets worth more than £13 billion and 17 branches across the country. The Catholic society, which was set up by a Catholic layman, more than 40 years ago to help people on low incomes, single women and widows to buy homes, has just one branch in Westminster and employs only seven staff. Chelsea has made no secret of the fact that it is on the acquisition trail and has been looking for strategic partnerships for the past 18 months. But the chief executive of the Catholic, Ivan Gould, was recently quoted as saying the society's "favoured option" was to remain mutual after carrying out a strategic review. The merger will be subject to the approval of Catholic members, who will have to have held a qualifying savings or mortgage account with the society on May 31 to qualify for a potential windfall. Trevor Harrison, Chelsea's chairman, said: "We are looking forward to finalising the terms of the transaction with the Catholic and to welcoming the Catholic's members into the Chelsea family in due course." Clare Whittaker, Catholic's Chairman, said: "We are delighted to have chosen Chelsea as our merger partner. The Catholic and Chelsea have much in common and share common values around mutuality and people". Source: Catholic Building Society
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