Monday, 28 April 2014

City of Derry Building Society RIP.

As was expected today proved to be the last Annual General Meeting of the City of Derry Building Society, (formerly the Londonderry Provident) , after 138 years. The merger, ( aka take over), with the Progressive Building Society was voted upon by the borrowers and investors. The attendance at the meeting was no larger than usual. Possibly fifty individuals were in attendance but a considerable number of investors and many fewer borrowers had decided to appoint the Chairman as their proxy in advance of the meeting and were not present in person.


So far as the investors were concerned a total of 451 members voted for the merger with 34 against. Only 43 borrowers voted. Forty of them voted for the merger with three voting against the merger.


It is sad that another local Building Society should be forced to close its doors. Small is no longer beautiful. Northern Ireland's property boom and bust has certainly been a factor in the demise of this minnow of the Building Society movement, but the regulatory requirements have also contributed to today's requiem meeting.


It is now more than forty years since I opened an account with what was then the Londonderry Provident Building Society. It was a Society which was run by and for the benefit of locals. The parochial element is now to be watered down. I doubt if I will retain my modest funds with the Progressive. My connection with this Building Society even extended to working in its then rather old fashioned offices for a few months in 1975. This was before the world of computers. Receipts and debits were written up in large ledgers resting on Victorian writing tables which you had to stand at. Another world.


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