Manchester Building Society

The Manchester Building Society is a building society which offers savings accounts from its head office in Manchester City Centre at 125 Portland Street.

Manchester Building Society
TypeBuilding society (mutual)
Financial services
HeadquartersManchester, England, UK
£4.3 million GBP (December 2007), Green Arrow Up.svg24.5% on 2006
Total assets£792 million GBP (December 2007), Green Arrow Up.svg17.2% on 2006

It is a member of the Building Societies Association and Financial Ombudsman Service, as well as the FSCS deposit guarantee scheme.

As a mutual, it is owned by and operated for its members.

The society claims to operate a streamlined organisation, based in the heart of Manchester, which allows them to keep costs to a minimum and pass on the benefits to members.

Since 2016, the society has been forced by its regulator, the PRA, to no longer undertake new lending on the basis that it has insufficient capital on its balance sheet to mitigate risks of new business. A capital shortfall as a result of historic accounting errors is blamed. Nevertheless, the society continues to service historic mortgages issued before 2016, accepting new deposits and applications by individuals to open personal savings accounts. It retains statutory minimum deposit insurance for its members. However, the society stopped paying PIBS holders interest in 2016, leaving many investors out of pocket.

The society's management took former auditor, Grant Thornton, to court, claimed it had acted negligently and ultimately caused the capitalisation concerns. Towards the end of 2018, they were awarded a negligible sum versus the initial claim, and forced to pay Grant Thornton's costs which were far in excess of the award. The society took this decision to the Supreme Court and in June 2021 they decided to overrule the lower court's decision - the society and Grant Thornton are now in discussions over damages and interest totalling around £13.4m. The society confirmed at the start of 2019 that there continues to be uncertainty around its long-term future, with the payout giving some reassurance to PIBS investors who were left out of pocket after interest payments were suspended in 2016.

The society were subsequently audited by KPMG, shortly after which they were replaced by PwC.

Unusually for a UK-based organisation the society historically offered its members lifetime mortgages against properties in Spain, a form of indebtedness taken on in later life with the aim of never making interest payments or paying down the principal in the borrower's lifetime. On death, Lien on the property continues to be held by the society until full repayment is made.

In February 2023 it was confirmed that the society had agreed to merge with the Newcastle Building Society.[1] The merger is expected to be completed by July 1st 2023.


  1. ^ Fowler, Ryan (21 February 2023). "Newcastle Building Society and Manchester Building Society agree to merge by way of transfer of engagements". The Intermediary - Latest UK mortgage news. Retrieved 4 March 2023.

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