Welcome from the BSA Deputy Chair to open day two

Julie-Ann opened the second day of the conference by giving special thanks to all those who have made the conference possible. The speakers, panellists, exhibitors and headline sponsors - Mutual Vision; Pexa; Protiviti; Publicis Sapient; Smart Money People; Sopra Banking Software; Target Group; and Workday – and other sponsors – Amdocs;  Avanade; The Evolution Group; Manchester Building Society and Praesta Partners LLP.

She also thanked the organisers and volunteers for their work behind the scenes to ensure everything ran smoothly.

She then provided a short overview of the first day of the conference. We heard first from Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester who spoke about ‘Placemaking’ involving all stakeholders and partnerships working in collaboration to make a difference. 

Robin Fieth then spoke about the progress our sector has made in the last 10 years and our shared goal to ensure building societies, credit unions and the wider financial mutual sector are at the heart of a diverse, competitive and resilient UK financial sector. He proposed building a new covenant between the co-operative and mutual sectors, government and society – the mutual prospectus for the benefit of society as a whole.

Next year will be the 250th anniversary of the world’s first building society, which started to help ordinary people own their homes and escape from expensive, poor quality rented accommodation – issues that still exist today. 

Julie-Ann said we should use this anniversary to reflect on our rich history and all that we’ve achieved, but also as inspiration to continue our work for today’s and future generations. If we are to achieve the ambition set by Robin yesterday, to double the size of our memberships in the next 10 years, we need to continue to engage with government, regulators and legislators.

It has never been more important for us to come together and speak with one voice. Our members needs are what must be at the forefront of politicians’ minds when regulations and laws are created, not the needs of private companies.