Lambeth and Portman Building Societies have announced this morning they are to merge.
The merger will see the two rival lenders join forces on 30 September subject to approval by members of Lambeth Building Society and regulatory approval from the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
The enlarged building society will remain a mutual and will be named Portman Building Society with the Lambeth name disappearing.
The majority of Lambeth’s branches will be incorporated into Portman’s network but where Portman already has established branches local Lambeth branches will close.
Under the proposed merger, Robert Sharpe, chief executive of Portman Building Society will retain his current position while Richard Vaughan, chairman of Lambeth Building Society will join the Portman Board.
A local board will be established, comprising the existing non-executive directors of Lambeth Building Society and the chief executive of Portman. The local board’s primary function will be to oversee integration. Chris Radford, chief executive of Lambeth Building Society, will be appointed director of Integration.
The Portman says there will be no compulsory redundancies within the branch network as a direct result of the merger. Portman will also offer jobs to all Lambeth’s head office staff at Portman’s main offices in Bournemouth or Wolverhampton, together with relocation benefits. Lambeth’s head office is expected to close by 30 June 2007.
Chris Radford, Chief Executive of Lambeth, says: "This is an exciting and important decision for Lambeth Building Society which we believe allows our members to continue to benefit over the long term from competitive products supported by excellent service and a wider branch network in the South of England. Lambeth is a sound business, with excellent staff and a strong balance sheet. We believe that the proposed merger with Portman can only increase our competitiveness in the market and allow our members to benefit from market-leading products and services."
Robert Sharpe, chief executive of Portman, adds: "We are delighted that Lambeth has chosen Portman as its merger partner. Whilst there is no doubt that small and medium-sized building societies are able to trade profitably, we all operate in an increasingly challenging market environment. The growing costs of regulation, the requirements of Basel II and the expenditure needed to invest in ever more sophisticated technology together make a compelling case for this merger.”IFAonline
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