Ketley's Building Society

Ketley's Building Society, founded in Birmingham, England, in 1775, was the world's first building society.[1]

The society was formed by Richard Ketley, the landlord at the Golden Cross inn at 60 Snow Hill. Taverns and coffeehouses were important meeting places in eighteenth century Birmingham and frequently formed the focal point for clubs and societies.[2]

Ketley's Building Society existed to pool the resources of its members, who would contribute a specified amount into a shared building fund and draw lots to select which of the members would have land purchased and a home constructed. With property in place as security, further finance could be attracted to the society through loans at a reasonable cost.[3]

The only documentary records of the society are three advertisements offering shares in the society that appeared in local newspapers in 1778 and 1779. The third of these advertisements claimed that £80 had been advanced on the society's shares.[4]


  1. ^ Rex, Simon (20 April 2010). "The History of Building Societies". Building Societies Association. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  2. ^ Chinn, Carl (15 November 2008). "Brum's building society origins". Birmingham Mail. Birmingham Post and Mail Ltd. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  3. ^ Peterson, Christopher L. (July 2003). "Truth, Understanding, and High-Cost Consumer Credit: The Historical Context of the Truth in Lending Act". Florida Law Review (55): 839–840.
  4. ^ Ashworth, Herbert (1980). The Building Society Story. London: Franey & Co. p. 2. ISBN 0-900382-38-4.