What the marriage of Yorkshire and Chelsea means for you
The Yorkshire building society announced on 2 December that it is merging with the Chelsea building society, in what some believe is a bail out. The
Gloucester-based Chelsea has made massive losses in the last 18 months leaving it with no choice but to take drastic action to ensure its survival.
What's happening and will I get a windfall?
The decision to merge with the larger Yorkshire building society is being seen by many in the financial services industry as a sensible one, as it will
leave the larger joint mutual as the second biggest building society in the UK after the Nationwide. But savers and borrowers may feel short-changed
as they will not be in line for any windfall. On top of that, the merger will mean less competition which, in theory, could lead to fewer good deals.
But members of either society should not feel angered or saddened by the proposed merger. It will lead to an "enlarged society which has one of the
strongest capital positions of any major UK bank or building society and a secure funding base," Yorkshire boss, Ian Cornish pointed out.
In other words, it should go some way towards securing a longer-term future for the society.
What you need to know
What does the merger actually mean? It will lead to the creation of a larger mutual to be known as the Yorkshire Building Society with around 2.7
million customers, 178 branches and assets of Â£35 billion. The Chelsea brand will be kept, the society says, but for how long, no-one knows.
It's entirely possible that it could be phased out sooner or later and would be a sensible move from the Yorkshire's point of view as there would then be
The society says no branches will be closed as a result of the merger. That's mainly because there is very little overlap in branch locations of the two
separate societies. But that, too, could change down the line to save the unnecessary expense of having two branches in close proximity.
Are my savings safe?
From savers' point of view the