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FINANCE


Serving the underserved in finance


By Colin Fyfe, Chief Executive, Hinckley & Rugby Building Society


It may be more than a decade ago now, but the waves created by the financial crisis of 2007-8 continue to cause ripples that shape the finance sector and the businesses within it. The ensuing era of ultra-low


interest rates generated an attractive market for mortgage seekers, with best buy deals at percentages that would have been unimaginable pre-crash. Buoyed by a succession of cheap


and plentiful wholesale funding packages provided by the Bank of England, high street banks ceased needing savers to fund their lending and have been happy to compete among themselves for straightforward and simple mortgage cases where thin margins are manageable. As mutual organisations, building


societies have a duty to look after not just their mortgage customers but also their savers. Both groups are our members and therefore our owners. All of which made it challenging


for us to compete on price alone with high street banks. We had one big competitive advantage – our hard-earned and keenly maintained reputation for service.


78 business network November 2019


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