Norwich and Peterborough Building Society

Norwich and Peterborough Building Society
Yorkshire Building Society trading as Norwich and Peterborough Building Society
Type Building Society (Mutual)
Industry Financial Services
Founded 1860 (Incorporated 1896)
Headquarters Peterborough Business Park,
Lynch Wood, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE2 6WZ
Key people Ed Anderson, Chairman
Iain Cornish, Chief Executive
Products Retail Banking, Savings and Investments, Mortgages, Surveying, General Insurance Broking and Share Dealing
Parent Yorkshire Building Society

Norwich and Peterborough Building Society (or N&P) is a trading name of Yorkshire Building Society based in Bradford, West Yorkshire. At the time of merger, it was the ninth largest building society in the United Kingdom, with assets in excess of £4.9 billion.[1][2] It was formed by the merger of the Norwich and Peterborough building societies in 1986.

The Society has over 45 branch offices mainly located in East Anglia and the surrounding counties of Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire, but there is also a branch in Gibraltar which opened in 1990. The former Head Office was opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second in 1988, on a green field business park at Lynch Wood, Peterborough, where an important operational presence is retained by the Yorkshire. N&P employs over 800 staff, of whom roughly half are based at Lynch Wood.



The Society's principal purpose is making of loans which are secured on residential property and are funded substantially by its members.[3] However, for its size, the Society offers a wide range of financial services and advice to its 470,000 customers. Cheques are cleared through the Co-operative Bank Plc and a MasterCard branded credit card is issued on behalf of the Society by MBNA Europe Bank Ltd.[4] Share dealing services are currently offered to members by Jarvis Investment Management Ltd, a member of the London Stock Exchange since 1984.[5] As a result of having diversified into areas not traditionally associated with building societies, the Society's income is no longer solely dependent on mortgages.

Norwich and Peterborough also operates via a telephone call centre based in Peterborough and through a fully transactional website. The Society has three established affinity accounts with Norwich City FC, Peterborough United FC and Lincoln City FC. In 2006, it was endorsed by the Football League as its preferred provider of these accounts to Championship and lower league clubs. Each year the Society pays a bonus of up to 1.25% to the club, calculated on the average total balance held in all of their supporters' accounts. There are now 27 clubs participating online.

The Society only offers mortgage facilities for properties in England, Wales, Gibraltar or situated in defined geographical areas of the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca, Spain.[6] In 1998, it became the first lender to provide so-called green mortgages and, in 2007, it became one of the first building societies to achieve the CarbonNeutral quality mark. Yorkshire Building Society (trading as Norwich and Peterborough) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.[7] It is a member of the Building Societies Association[8] and the LINK Interchange Network.[9] As a current account provider, N&P is also affiliated to Bankers' Automated Clearing Services[10] and subscribes to the Lending Code.[11] Since 2001, its ATMs have been operated by Moneybox Corporation.[12]

Yorkshire Building Society also operates under the trading names of Barnsley Building Society (since 2009), Chelsea Building Society (since 2010, including the engagements of the former Catholic Building Society) and Egg (since 2011).[13] The Yorkshire is a participant of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme; therefore, deposits with any of N&P, the Yorkshire, Barnsley, Chelsea and Egg are treated as linked for the purposes the scheme.[14]


The Society conducted regular dialogues through members’ meetings and other events. It was clear from these that members had a high level of trust in the Society and wished it to continue as a mutual; a stance confirmed by the Board.[15] In order to help maintain normal business activities for the benefit of all members without the disruption caused by speculative activity, new customers opening savings accounts providing membership of the Society were required to enter into an agreement to assign to the Charities Aid Foundation any windfall benefits to which they may have become entitled in the future as an investing member.

In December 2010, it was reported that the Society had received a number of takeover approaches and was keeping its options open.[16][17] The Society had sold Keydata Investment Services products to some 3,100 customers via its Independent Financial Advisers between November 2005 and June 2009, when the firm was put into administration by the FSA.[18] In July 2009, the Serious Fraud Office commenced an investigation into Keydata Investment Services Ltd. following a referral by the FSA. Shortly afterwards, in November 2009, the Society announced the closure of 10 branches largely outside its "regional heartland" effective March 2010[19] and in January 2011, chief executive, Matthew Bullock, announced his retirement once a successor could be found.[20][21] In light of tougher regulation, Aviva Life Services UK Ltd. (formerly Norwich Union) was reappointed to provide financial advice to members.[22]

Following expressions of interest by US equity firm JC Flowers (see Kent Reliance),[23] Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Money[24][25] and Coventry Building Society,[26] the Board entered into exclusive discussions with Yorkshire Building Society on 19 March 2011.[27][28] On 22 March, the Society announced it would repay investor losses arising from the collapse of Keydata.[29] Mr. Bullock stepped down on 31 March; Anne Gunther, former chief executive of Standard Life Bank, was appointed to the role on 20 April[30] and the merger agreed following due diligence.[31] On the Board's "strong recommendation", shareholding and borrowing members voted in favour of the proposal at an Extraordinary General Meeting held in Peterborough on 22 August.[32] FSA approval followed on 23 September[33] and the transfer of engagements was completed on 1 November,[34] ending 160 years of independent trading.[35]


Former branding, used 1986–2009, as modified in 2002

The Norwich and Peterborough Group includes the following trading companies, which are wholly owned by the parent Society:

  • Norwich and Peterborough (LBS) Ltd.,[36] trading as Astra Mortgages
  • Norwich and Peterborough Estate Agents Ltd.,[37] Gibraltar
  • Norwich and Peterborough Insurance Brokers Ltd.[38]
  • Norwich and Peterborough General Insurance Ltd.[39]
  • Norwich and Peterborough Sharedealing Services Ltd.,[40] formerly Waters, Lunniss & Co. Ltd.
  • Norwich and Peterborough Covered Bonds LLP[41]
  • Lynchwood Services Limited[42]
  • Flexible Choice Limited[43]

The former subsidiary, Hockleys Professional Limited,[44] trading as Hockleys Surveyors, was acquired by estate agents Connells Residential Ltd. in 2007.[45]


Manor House, former headquarters of the Peterborough Building Society.

The Norwich Building Society was founded in 1852 under the imposing title of Norwich and District Provident Permanent Benefit Building and Freehold Land Society. This was unconnected with the mutual Norwich Union Society for the Insurance of Houses, Stock and Merchandise from Fire, which had been founded in 1797. After the Second World War, in 1947, the Norwich Benefit Building Society incorporated, ceasing to act in the name of its trustees, and the name was simplified. The Society absorbed Thetford, Norfolk and Suffolk Mutual Benefit Building Society in 1961.

Shortly after, in 1860, Peterborough Provincial Benefit Building Society was established by railway workers at the Corn Exchange, Peterborough and, in 1896, it registered under the Building Societies Act 1874.[46] The fast growth of the railways had not only created large numbers of workers, it had also led to a shortage of housing in the Peterborough area. The new Society enabled its members to build their own homes in the city. Although originally limited to railwaymen, the Society opened its membership to the general public in 1924, moving to new premises in Priestgate. In 1962, its name was changed to the Peterborough Building Society and, soon after, the Head Office moved to a refurbished building in Market Place (later renamed Cathedral Square). The first branch office was opened at March, Cambridgeshire in 1961. The Society absorbed King's Lynn Building Society in 1967,[47] which was based in the offices of the estate agents Geoffrey Collins & Co. at Blackfriars Street. Further mergers followed with Stamford Building Society in 1980[48] and Argyle Building Society in 1985.[49]

Norwich and Peterborough Building Society was formed by the merger of the two societies in 1986. At that time the Peterborough's assets were £280m and the Norwich's were £176m. An entirely separate City of Peterborough and District Permanent Building Society transferred engagements to Northampton Town and County Building Society in 1959. Anglia Building Society was formed by amalgamation of this Society with Leicestershire Building Society in 1966 and subsequently merged with Nationwide Building Society in 1987.[50]


  1. ^ Building Societies' Assets Building Societies Association, 1 April 2010
  2. ^ Building Societies Database KPMG Financial Services, August 2008
  3. ^ Memorandum of the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society (3) Memorandum of Powers and Rules Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, April 1988
  4. ^ The Norwich and Peterborough Building Society Credit Card MBNA Europe Bank (retrieved 27 June 2009)
  5. ^ Norwich and Peterborough Building Society Share Dealing Service Jarvis Investment Management (retrieved 19 March 2011)
  6. ^ The Society is licensed in Gibraltar under the Financial Services Ordinance, Licence No. FSC00472A. Oficina de Representacion en Espana de Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, Calla Mauricio Moro Poreto No.2, 6A, 29006 Malaga SHZ 23A
  7. ^ Entered in the Register under No. 106085. Norwich and Peterborough was previously entered under No. 150965
  8. ^ Members Building Societies Association (retrieved 5 November 2011)
  9. ^ Members VocaLink (retrieved 5 November 2011)
  10. ^ Our affiliates Bacs Payment Schemes (retrieved 5 November 2011)
  11. ^ Subscribers Lending Standards Board (retrieved 5 November 2011)
  12. ^ Press Release: Ambient subsidiary Moneybox agrees ATM contract with Norwich and Peterborough Building Society Ambient, RNS No. 6423K, 26 September 2001
  13. ^ Use of the Egg trade marks by Yorkshire Building Society is currently under licence from Egg Banking Plc which provides any residual Egg savings products that were not transferred to the Yorkshire and any Egg loans products that were not sold to Britannica Recoveries S.a.r.l.
  14. ^ Linked deposits for the purposes of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme Financial Services Authority, 1 November 2011
  15. ^ Cook, Jacqueline; Deakin, Simon and Hughes, Alan Mutuality and Corporate Governance: the Evolution of UK Building Societies Following Deregulation (Working Paper No. 205) ESRC Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge, June 2001
  16. ^ Takeover for Norwich and Peterborough Building Society BBC News, 17 December 2010
  17. ^ Briggs, Stephen N&P won’t rule out merger talk Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 17 December 2010
  18. ^ Keydata: Full compensation for Lifemark investors BBC News, 1 December 2010
  19. ^ Branch Restructure Norwich and Peterborough Building Society (retrieved 3 January 2011)
  20. ^ Reville, Matthew N&P chief set to retire when successor found Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 12 January 2011
  21. ^ Norwich & Peterborough boss Matthew Bullock to retire BBC News, 12 January 2011
  22. ^ Williams, Sam N&P and Aviva in talks over financial advice tie-up Norwich Evening News, 12 January 2011
  23. ^ Williams, Sam Norwich and Peterborough rule out JC Flowers takeover Eastern Daily Press, 25 October 2010
  24. ^ Lowthorpe, Shaun Virgin Money linked to Norwich and Peterborough buyout bid Eastern Daily Press, 6 March 2011
  25. ^ Montia, Gill Virgin in talks with Norwich & Peterborough Banking Times, 7 March 2011
  26. ^ Montia, Gill Norwich & Peterborough BS considers merger Banking Times, 28 December 2010
  27. ^ Yorkshire eyes merger with rival society BBC News, 18 March 2011
  28. ^ Wachman, Richard Yorkshire building society in merger talks with Norwich and Peterborough The Guardian, 19 March 2011
  29. ^ Norwich and Peterborough to repay Keydata investors BBC News, 22 March 2011
  30. ^ N&P Building Society appoint new CEO Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 19 April 2011
  31. ^ Yorkshire and N&P building societies to merge BBC News, 20 April 2011
  32. ^ Members agree Yorkshire and N&P building societies merger BBC News, 22 August 2011
  33. ^ FSA confirms Norwich & Peterborough Building Society merger with the Yorkshire Building Society Financial Services Authority, FSA/PN/081/2011, 23 September 2011
  34. ^ Dickson, Annabelle Norwich and Peterborough Building Society merger complete Norwich Evening News, 1 November 2011
  35. ^ Yorkshire and Norwich & Peterborough building societies announce proposed merger Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, 20 April 2011
  36. ^ Registered in England and Wales No. 2670589. Authorised and regulated by the FSA, entered in the Register under No. 454265
  37. ^ Registered in England and Wales No. 6304778
  38. ^ Registered in England and Wales No. 699978. Authorised and regulated by the FSA, entered in the Register under No. 116669
  39. ^ Registered in England and Wales No. 2193881. Originally Norwich and Peterborough Insurance Services Ltd., then Norwich and Peterborough Financial Planning Ltd.
  40. ^ Registered in England and Wales No. 1971202. No longer authorised by the FSA, entered in the Register under No. 124311
  41. ^ Registered in England and Wales No. OC341875
  42. ^ Registered in England and Wales No. 2312383. Originally Norwich and Peterborough Group Ltd., then Norwich and Peterborough (Computer Services) Ltd.
  43. ^ Registered in England and Wales No. 2792052
  44. ^ Registered in England and Wales No. 2360274
  45. ^ Connells acquires N&P company Mortgage Introducer, 29 October 2007
  46. ^ Registry of Friendly Societies No. 437B
  47. ^ Known as the King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Permanent Benefit Building Society until 1952
  48. ^ Known as the Stamford Permanent Benefit Building Society until 1975
  49. ^ Known as the Argyle Benefit Building Society until 1962
  50. ^ Until 1992 known as Nationwide Anglia. Extract from Building Societies Yearbook 2007/8 (pp.175, 194 & 167) Building Societies Association (retrieved 10 January 2008)

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