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U.K. mutuals on course for more mergers

Over the last few months we have seen problems with the West Bromwich building society, the Dunfermline building society and more recently the Chelsea building society. While a number of operations have been taken over or merged with larger partners, there is a feeling, at least in the offices of KPMG, that more mergers in the sector are inevitable. The financial sector in the UK is changing and the landscape is set to change even more over the next decade.

Even prior to the UK recession we saw a number of building societies questioning the amount of funding they had to channel into the UK regulatory system, something which was hitting many of the smaller operations fairly hard. Even though there are still differences between mutual building societies and the traditional UK banking sector, there is no doubt that their operations and their structures have never been as similar as they are today.

In this world of mega financial conglomerates many believe the smaller local mutual building society has had its day and is unable to compete with larger mutuals and large financials. If this is the case it will be a sad day for the mutual sector which has been a cornerstone of the UK financial industry for many years.

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