A building society is a financial organisation that is owned by its members, and not shareholders.
This means that most people with a savings account, mortgage, credit card, current account or loan with a building society, owns part of it.
There are 63 building societies in the UK. Originally designed to help their members buy houses, building societies now offer services including current accounts, credit cards, cash machines, travel money, unsecured loans, various types of insurance and estate agency services.
Building societies are different from banks, which are companies owned by shareholders and run for profit. Instead building societies are run by and for their members, who have the right to vote for a board to run the company and speak at meetings.