MP and The Cambridge come together to explore ways to support home ownership

26 July 2017 • Our Insights

Home ownership and the challenges faced by first time buyers were discussed at a meeting between Daniel Zeichner MP and The Cambridge on Friday. 

The Cambridge's Chief Executive Stephen Mitcham invited Daniel along to the Newmarket Road Head Office to speak with himself, Chairman Jonathan Spence and Hilary McVitty, Head of External Affairs from the Building Societies Association. 

During the meeting ways to support efforts to increase home ownership across the city were explored and Daniel heard more about how The Cambridge has evolved over the last 167 years to meet customers’ changing needs.

Earlier this year it opened a refurbished branch in St Ives which uses technology to support the personal service so valued from a Building Society and later this month will launch a Money App so customers can view their accounts on the go.

With 13 branches in and around Cambridge, and a recent £3 million investment plan The Cambridge is not only seeking to improve the quality and provision of its own operations, but to actively contribute to the success and development of its surrounding communities. Over the last 10 years, more than £270,000 has been donated to over 800 local charities, and staff have volunteered over 21,000 community hours.

In 2016, it broke its lending record, advancing over £250 million to borrowers from across East Anglia. Focusing on the important role member ownership plays in the wider community, The Cambridge manages its business for the benefit of members, not to maximise profits. 

Daniel Zeichner MP said: “With one in three new mortgages coming from a building society, it is vital that we ensure the sector is as well-resourced and supported as possible - an aim further compounded by the demonstrably significant community role played by organisations such as the Cambridge Building Society. 

“The insight offered into the financial problems facing our local community, as well as the successes – such as the 800 young savers who opened their first savings accounts with the Cambridge Building Society throughout 2016 – was most enlightening, and I hope we are successful in addressing many of the issues raised.”

Stephen added: “We are really pleased to have had the chance to discuss the work of the Building Society sector with our MP. It was a privilege to be able to share how The Cambridge supports older borrowers and the innovations we’ve developed to meet the changing needs of customers.

“The next big challenge is to explore ways to help first time buyers get on the property ladder and this is an area that both Daniel and The Cambridge can support.”

The Building Societies Association is the voice for building societies and pushes for the best outcomes from the plethora of new and changing regulation and legislation in the UK and Europe. It works with, amongst others, the UK Government, the EU Commission, Council and Parliament and regulators.

Hilary said: “The BSA works with building societies right across the UK, particularly on the challenge of housing.  Everyone should have access to a good quality home, whether they own it or rent it.  The principles are the same across the UK, but local needs and circumstances vary - listening to local experts is hugely valuable.”