At our 170th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 25 March our members approved a Special Resolution, which will see us change our name to Suffolk Building Society early next year.
Becoming Suffolk Building Society
As you might expect, we have seen many changes and developments at the Society through our 170 year history, and our name is one of them. Originally set up as Ipswich and Suffolk Permanent Benefit Building Society, then simply Ipswich & Suffolk Building Society in the early seventies, the Suffolk reference was forgone in 1975. To be known as Suffolk Building Society not only marks the next chapter in our history, but it also points to our legacy as a long-standing independent mutual.
By incorporating our county-wide heritage in our name, we’re looking to promote growth by appealing to a wider audience, but our values will remain the same. The Society’s high street presence will remain, with plans to continue to invest in our branch network. We have always placed value on our face-to-face channels, and this only becomes more important in communicating the name change activity to existing members.
Existing members won’t experience any change in the way we do business, but we will explore new ways to serve more members while growing independently and responsibly.
What people say
The third party research we undertook prior to taking the name change proposal to members at our AGM indicated that Suffolk Building Society was a more inclusive, more sustainable name, and would be more appealing to potential customers in our home county and beyond.
We communicated with voting members through our Review of the Year packs, inviting them to vote on the name change, and to get in touch should they require more information. At the AGM itself, 3,389 members of the Society voted and the special resolution was passed by 92.83 per cent.
The overriding sentiment of members can be summed up by this quote from Ipswich customers, Les and Linda, Ipswich:
“For over 50 years we have been members of the Society. We consider the name change will attract new members from across the county of Suffolk as it better reflects where the Society trades. We think this is a positive step for ‘our Society’ and one that we should all support.”
When do we officially become Suffolk Building Society?
With a new name comes new branding, and with a stronger visual identity, we are less restricted in our digital expansion. We want to take advantage of new technologies, and will be building new websites to better serve our customers and intermediary partners.
From setting up our green working party amongst our employees last year, we take our Environmental Action Plan seriously and are intent on adhering to it throughout the name change and rebrand. That means there won’t be any immediate changes while we run down existing stock to reduce both wastage and cost.
The name change will therefore be implemented early in 2021 and we will post updates on our blog, via our newsletters, and through in-branch communications.
Becoming Suffolk Building Society means this year is an important point in our already rich timeline. It’s the start of a new era where we’re able to connect to a broader community whilst remaining proud of our roots in the county we serve.
We are where we’re from. We’re Suffolk through and through.