The low interest rate environment that has prevailed since 2009 has been challenging to all financial institutions.
However, independent bodies that monitor interest rates across the market have recenlty highlighted the generally superior rates on offer at building societies compared to other providers.
For example, Moneyfacts noted that "Building societies are winning the mortgage battle" (Jan 2018) Charlotte Nelson of Moneyfacts said: "Building societies are offering borrowers a better deal when it comes to rates. For example, the average five-year fixed rate mortgage from a building society is a whopping 0.41% lower than that of one offered by the main banks"
Charlotte continued, "Building societies clearly want to be seen as supporting first-time buyers, and offering lower rates is just one of the ways they can do this. This group of lenders also tend have a more flexible underwriting process, allowing to them to more flexibly consider the needs of these borrowers."
And Savingschampion.co.uk found that on the savings side (Jan 2018) "a significant percentage more building society accounts (71%) pay a higher rate than the base rate, compared to banks (47%). This continues the trend that we have seen over the last six years and remained the case throughout 2017."