Page 3: Satisfied customers
The profits of a public limited company, such as a bank, are distributed to its owners (the shareholders) in the form of dividends. Britannia’s owners, its members, are all customers, giving Britannia Building Society a unique advantage over its non-mutual competitors – and their interests and those of the organisation are directly aligned. In addition to the ordinary benefits that the customer of any financial institution will receive such as competitive interest rates, Britannia can produce returns for members in proportion to their contribution to the success of the society.
Satisfied customers are the organisation’s first priority. The better the products and services Britannia offers, the more these will be requested by the members/ customers. This volume in turn generates more profits and it is Britannia’s responsibility to maximise the profits for the benefit of its members. In a public limited company the circle is broken because the profits are used to pay dividends to shareholders, who are usually not also customers.
Although all members of a building society are customers, not all customers are members. Only share account holders and mortgage borrowers are members of the Society. Most become a member by opening a share account or by taking out a mortgage to buy their home, although in order to have a vote they must have at least £100 invested and be over 18 years of age.