Portman and Staffordshire Building Societies have announced a merger, which is expected to be effective by the end of the year.
The final confirmation is dependent on the agreement of Staffordshire members who are to meet in September, but it will also need approval from the Financial Services Authority and the Office of Fair Trading.
The combined Society will retain its mutual status and be known as Portman Building Society, although Staffordshire will retain its regional brand and become The Staffordshire. Portman is currently the fourth largest building society and although the merger will not change this it will put it closer to Yorkshire in third place.
Robert Sharpe, chief executive of Portman, will become chief executive of the combined Society. He said: ‘Portman members will see their Society grow by some 15%, while the strong brand of the Staffordshire in its operating region significantly strengthens our group’s presence in the Midlands. The merger is the first of its kind ‘ where two societies can benefit by joining forces while retaining their own branch networks and strong local brands.
‘I think there will be continuing consolidation in the financial services sector, but I do not think it is necessarily restricted to building societies. Most are well capitalised and if they want to remain independent they can.’
Sharpe also refused to rule out further, similar acquisitions in the future.
Staffordshire members are expected to receive a bonus of £100 if the deal goes through.