building societies = transparency + profit

This is what happens when you choose to cooperate with a building society, not a main-street bank: you have rights to elect the Board of your building society,  agree or disagree with their propose changes to the Rules and Memorandum as set by the AGM (Annual general meeting). Building society’s customers are also asked to approve its Annual report and accounts, director’s renumeration report and appoint its auditors. Photo0177

Nationwide, is the biggest building society in the UK, its profits last year increased by 54% to 1 billion GBP and it is not the sec on largest mortgage lender in the country.

The main difference between ‘normal’ banks and building societies is that building societies do not have shareholders therefore they are not pressurised to make massive profits. This means that essentially they are able to run on lower costs and therefore offer cheaper products to their clients. Moreover, they are mutual institutions meaning – their clients make decisions on how the building society operates. They exist in UK since the 18th century. Building societies are not companies and are not listed on the stock market.

When thinking about the financial market, banking sector and the recent crisis which is still overshadowing lives of many people, it’s worth remembering that there ARE alternative ways of doing things. And, sustainable, people-friendly, fair and transparent banking can be profitable too.

ending ‘too big to fail’ era?

“No banker likes to say it, but they get subsidies from the public. Banks worked on a ‘heads we win, tails you lose basis'”.

Mark Carney, Governor or Bank of England, head of the global Financial Stability Board.

(Evening Standard, 10 November, 2014)

Seems like there is some hope. If Carney is really serious about his campaign to end the ‘too big to fail’ era’, there is hope.

yes, Mr President, let the banks fail!

iceland president on banksIceland’s president Mr Grimsson is now officially my favorite president in the world. He is the only president i know who has so far been brave enough to speak the real truth about democracy and banks. Iceland is the only country which instead of bailing out banks, made the banks and bankers pay their price for the mess they made. Unfortunately, Iceland is not getting enough publicity abroad as it is an uncomfortable story for mainstream economists, politicians and austerity fans. So, make an effort and read a bit more here what Iceland did, why it did not follow the steps of other countries and why it is good for its people.

planes vs banks

“The airline industry benefits from every mistake ever made anywhere on the planet. Any pilot who makes a mistake anywhere on the planet today will make your next flight safer. The banking industry is the opposite. Every mistake takes the banking system closer to total collapse. One system is antifragile, the other is fragile. The banking system failed because it was built for order and not built for the unpredictable.”

Professor Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of “Black Swan”