Society Celebrates 145 Years of Success

20 January 2014

145th Birthday

The Society celebrates its landmark 145th birthday this January. Founded by a group of local businessmen on Saturday January 23rd 1869, the Society granted its first loans on May 7th later that year. From humble beginnings, it has continued to grow and serve communities across South Wales throughout a period of rapid social change, two world wars and many significant events in world history.

Queen Victoria was well into her third decade on the throne in 1869, while the UK’s Prime Minister was William Ewart Gladstone. It was also the year of the Cutty Sark’s launch, and the first year in which women were permitted to attend lectures at a British university. 1869 was a very important time for Wales, being the year of the first National Eisteddfod, which took place in Holywell, and the year that the first copy of the Western Mail was published in Cardiff.

Across the world, 1869 proved to be a year of great importance, witnessing the birth of ‘the Father of the Indian Nation,’ Mahatma Gandhi, whose commitment to non-violence still inspires us today, as well as the French artist, Henri Matisse. Celluloid was first patented in 1869 in New York, eventually leading to the development of photography and film production. This year also saw the official opening of The Suez Canal in Egypt, opening trade routes to the east.

Commenting on the Society’s landmark birthday, Chief Executive Andrew Lewis said, “With the effects of the economic downturn still playing out, it’s especially pleasing to be celebrating such a remarkable milestone in our history. We remain as strong and secure as ever, and our longevity is a clear indication that customers continue to appreciate our outstanding level of customer service and competitive and innovative products. And, owing to its mutual roots, the Society still continues to pursue a policy of profit sufficiency as opposed to profit maximisation.”

Chairman Robert Williams said, “Monmouthshire Building Society is a significant force in the financial services industry of Wales. We remain committed to our primary objective of achieving long-term sustainable growth, ensuring that the Society maintains its position as a friendly, approachable provider of loans and savings products within the local area.”

He continued, ‘We are immensely proud of the Society’s achievements over the past 145 years. However, as the world continues to prevail through the global financial problems, we must continue to look forward, rather than back, to ensure we continue to offer the best possible service to our customers so that the Society may proudly thrive for many more years to come.“

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