History

  • 1845

    Black and white photo of the first Board of Directors
    Back in the day

    We’ve been a mutual right from the very beginning. Our origins can actually be traced back to 1845 when a group of people formed the Leeds Union Operative Land and Building Society. Back then, ordinary people struggled to find lenders and somewhere to call home for the long term. Mutuals answered that call by allowing people in working communities to save and borrow, so they could get the home they wanted and support their families.

  • 1875

    Photo of the first LBS Head office
    Our first Head Office was located at the Mechanics Institute in Holbeck from 1875 to 1886

    We were formally established as the Leeds and Holbeck (Permanent) Building Society. By the end of our first year, 450 accounts had been opened and we’d lent a total of £16,000 in mortgages.

  • 1886

    We first moved to Albion Street, Leeds. By the end of the 1800s, the business had grown to over £250,000 in size and the number of accounts exceeded 2,500.

  • 1924

    The year we set up our current head office on Albion Street in Leeds, in the heart of the city. We still call it home, although it’s got quite a few more folk inside.

  • 1930

    Leeds and Holbeck Building Society window letterin
    Head office branch window from 1930

    How our branches have changed! You’ll see a lot more posters in our windows today than you would have back then.

  • 1939-1945

    During World War II, 30 male and female colleagues - 86% of our workforce - served in the armed forces. We were very lucky to have no serious casualties.

  • 1946

    By this point the size of our business had passed the £6m mark. Account numbers swelled to 32,000 as more people turned to us for savings and mortgages. Interestingly, the average price of a house in Yorkshire in 1946 was £1,375 compared to an average Yorkshire salary of £265!

  • 1960

    Black and white photo of three female typists
    Typists working on the 1st floor of our Head Office in the 1960’s

    We reached almost £20m in size. So the Board thought it was only fitting that we got our very own coat of arms. The design took inspiration from Leeds itself, with the crest showing an owl above a golden tower, just like the City’s arms.

  • 1963 - 1970

    Head Office 1963
    Head Office 1963

    A growing business means creating more space! In 1963 we made some extensions to our Head Office, followed by further improvements to our Headrow frontage in 1970.

  • 1970

    Our London Branch in 1970
    Our London Branch in 1970

    Business continued to grow, with more branches popping up all over the UK, including our first London branch. By this point, the cost of your average Yorkshire house would have been nearer £4,378 and the average Yorkshire salary was £1,080!

  • 1996

    Our call centre in 1996
    Our call centre in 1996

    We expanded our service even more, with a fully operational member support contact centre, open 8am-8pm, 7 days a week. And we joined the digital age with the launch of our first website. We now have over 125 colleagues dedicated to member support.

  • 1999

    The Charitable Foundation
    The Charitable Foundation

    Our Charitable Foundation was launched. It enables us to support those charities working in local communities and making a positive difference to local people’s lives. Since it started, the Foundation has given over £1.8 million in donations.

  • 2002

    We opened our first overseas branch in sunny Gibraltar – offering savings and mortgages. Our Gibraltar branch colleagues love showing locals just what Leeds Building Society can offer.

  • 2003

    The yellow logo
    The yellow logo

    We changed to our stand-out ‘yellow look’ branding. The perfect colour when you’ve got something worth shouting about.

  • 2005

    Our new name
    Our new name

    At our Annual General Meeting in March 2005, members made the historic decision to change our name to Leeds Building Society.

  • 2006

    On the 1st August we were joined by some lovely new members and staff, through our merger with Mercantile Building Society. Mercantile members were hugely supportive of the proposal, with 97% voting in favour at the Society’s AGM.

  • 2007

    Leeds Rhinos sponsorship
    Leeds Rhinos sponsorship

    We’re massive Rugby League fans here at Leeds Building Society. In 2007 we became the main sponsor of Leeds Rhinos Rugby Club – a partnership we still enjoy with them today. In fact, you’ll see our branding all around Headingley Stadium.

  • 2007/8

    Head Office refurbishment
    Head Office refurbishment

    Our Head Office saw a big refurbishment between 2007 and 2008. A grand re-opening by the Duke of York gave things a real royal fanfare.

  • 2009

    We opened our Silverlink contact centre, not far from Newcastle city centre.  Back then our team of 30 advisors were handling up to 2000 calls a day, supporting existing members with their current needs and their future financial goals.

  • 2011

    A portrait of Chief Executive, Peter Hill
    Peter Hill, Chief Executive

    Peter Hill was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in August 2011. He joined us in 2001 and worked in senior management and director positions before his appointment to CEO.

  • 2012

    We became the UK’s fifth largest building society – such an important achievement for us. The size of our business reached a high of £10bn.

  • 2014

    The new website featuring new branding being displayed on a tablet device
    Our new website

    We got a fresh look! Our new branding and website was introduced to support our vision of being the most successful building society in the UK.

  • 2015

    Happy 140th birthday to us! Those candles took a lot of blowing out.

  • 2016

    Our Silverlink contact centre colleagues moved to a new home. Still not far from Newcastle City Centre, the new Cobalt centre meant great new training, meeting and break facilities for colleagues. And as we know, happy colleagues mean happy members.

  • 2019

    Richard-Fearon

    Richard Fearon took the baton from Peter Hill as our new Chief Executive Officer from February 2019. Originally joining the Society in 2016 as Chief Commercial Officer, Richard will be only our 8th CEO!