Guest blog: Taking steps to redefine our mutuality

Guest blog by James Paterson, CEO Dudley Building Society. This article was first published in Society Matters magazine.

Guest blog by James Paterson, CEO Dudley Building Society. This article was first published in Society Matters magazine.

Since joining Dudley Building Society as Chief Executive in May, I have observed the dedication and passion that colleagues have towards serving our members and intermediary partners.

My predecessor, Jeremy Wood, spent his 10 years as Chief Executive strengthening the Society’s position as a regional building society. As I take the helm, I am determined to continue to do the right thing for our members and our local community of the Black Country. Our core purpose of serving our local area to its benefit is engrained in our DNA as a business, so evolving to best serve the area as we move forwards is key.

I joined the Society after a period of pandemic uncertainty, hearing stories of colleagues consistently going above and beyond to help members and the community during difficult times. This has allowed me to see how important our community is to our members and colleagues, as it has served to bring people together to support others without judgement.

After 164 years of serving our local area, Dudley Building Society has seen many generations pass through the doors of our branches. So, as I look to the future of the Society, I am eager to understand how our mutuality can benefit our members and the wider communities that we serve.

Mutuality can be simply defined as an organisation owned by its members rather than shareholders. However, we want to understand how exactly we can benefit our members beyond the services that we provide. In today’s socio-economic climate our mutuality ensures that we address the concerns of our members and act in their best interests.

Supporting the community through philanthropic and regenerative action is something that I am passionate about, with our family having set up a charity dedicated to providing mental health support for new mums.

This passion is echoed by the Society, as supporting the community is a core pillar of our strategy.

The Society is currently working with customer experience consultancy, CGA Experience, who are helping us to define our customer experience strategy. Whilst Society colleagues are dedicated to delivering excellent customer service to our members, we want this to be underpinned by a strong customer and employee experience framework. This framework will allow us to continue to understand and meet members changing needs and expectations.

In addition to this, we are looking to understand how we can redefine mutuality through understanding the needs of our communities in the Black Country and we are working to strengthen our mortgage proposition and brand for our valued intermediary partners. We remain dedicated to providing mortgage solutions for specialist needs across England and Wales and have been taking steps to enhance the service that we offer.

In the current economic climate, we have an important part to play in providing support for our local Black Country community, and so we are driven to understanding how we can benefit them most in the spirit of our original purpose. I look forward to helping the Society evolve, making bold steps to redefine our purpose as a mutual into the future.

For more information from the Dudley visit www.dudleybuildingsociety.co.uk/content-hub/ You can also follow the Society on Twitter @DudleyBS.