Britannia in merger talks with CFS

Co-operative Financial Services, the financial arm of the mutually-owned Co-operative Group, has confirmed that it has had exploratory talks with the Staffordshire-based Britannia Building Society, which could lead...

However CFS say the setting up of a ‘super mutual’ with over six million customers and £70 billion worth of assets is just one of the options being considered.

A spokesman told the News that CFS is in a strong financial position, but would like to significantly increase its market share in core markets over the next few years.

“We are speaking with Britannia and indeed other parties on a range of possibilities which could include our products being sold for example in their branch networks,” said the spokesman.

“Coming together under a merger is one possibility, but at present legislation is not in place to enable this to happen between a building society and a co-operative and the market environment presently is also too volatile, even though we are coming at this from a clear position of strength.  

“We have ambitious growth plans and have had discussions with a number of parties, including Britannia, about how we can work more closely together for mutual benefit.”

CFS Chief Executive David Anderson commented: `The Britannia Building Society is a strong and trusted member — owned business which shares with CFS a common set of ethical values and principles.

`Both businesses are entering into these discussions from a position of strength and clearly there are a number of potential options to explore. We will only take action, however, which benefits further the clear momentum occurring now within the co-operative and mutual sector.”

Britannia’s Chief Executive Neville Richardson said: `As two like-minded, forward-thinking and financially strong mutuals, we’re talking with CFS about how we can work together to create an exciting proposition for our members.

`Both businesses have been pursuing successful strategies and don’t need to merge, but we recognise we could be even more successful by coming together and creating the UK’s most trusted financial services business.”

The Britannia is based in Leek, Staffs; has 2.6 million members and operates a network of 245 branches.

In this article

Join the Conversation