BSA comments on the Autumn Statement

Response to measures announced in the Autumn Statement 2023

Robin FiethCommenting on the measures announced in today’s Autumn Statement, Robin Fieth, Chief Executive of the BSA, said:

On housing and planning reforms:

“While we welcome the measure to support housing in the Autumn Statement, we need more than this and call for a long-term government plan and a firm commitment to resolve the housing supply conundrum, to support first-time buyers onto the property ladder and to ‘green’ our homes, both new builds and existing properties. I would urge the Prime Minister to recognise the importance of strong and effective housing policy for the nation by promoting the Housing Minister to Secretary of State for Housing. Creating a cabinet position would help the Minister deliver on his priorities with the necessary support that is required from across Government departments."

On the extension of the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme to June 2025:

“Supporting first time buyers onto the property ladder is a key requirement for an active housing market. The extension of the 95% mortgage guarantee scheme is therefore a welcome move by the Chancellor, and whilst the numbers are small, the scheme gives confidence to the market and ensures competition remains in the low deposit mortgage space.”

On simplifying ISAs:

“We welcome the initiative to simplify ISAs but are disappointed there were no changes announced to reduce the Lifetime ISA penalty or to raise LISA and Help to Buy ISA property price thresholds, which we have long been calling for. Another reform that would have helped savers would have been to raise the Personal Savings Allowance”


The BSA represents all 42 building societies, as well as 7 of the larger credit unions. Building societies serve around 26 million consumers across the UK and have total assets of over £500 billion. Together with their subsidiaries, they have helped over 3.6 million families and individuals to buy a home with mortgages totalling over £370 billion, representing 23% of total mortgage balances outstanding in the UK. They are also helping over 23 million people build their financial resilience, holding over £362 billion of retail savings, accounting for 19% of all cash savings in the UK.  Within this, societies account for 41% of all cash ISA balances.

With all of their headquarters outside London, building societies employ around 51,500 full and part-time staff.  In addition to digital services they operate through approximately 1,300 branches, holding a rising share of financial services branches in local communities.