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Why Demutualise?

Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS) is a mutual society. This means it is owned by its members, not by shareholders. In theory, one would expect therefore that it is run for the benefit of its members. However, as far as I can see, this is not the case with INBS.

In summary, it acts like a private bank, not like a mutual society.

I am therefore seeking the demutualisation of the INBS. This would involve the conversion of INBS from a mutual society to a bank.  The current members of the society would become shareholding owners of the bank. Members could then choose to either retain their shareholding or sell it on an open market (resulting in a cash windfall). See the How To Help section of this website to see how you can help me to achieve this aim.

Note that borrowing members are not strictly entitled to benefit from any demutualisation. However, as borrowers are entitled to vote on any resolution to convert the society to a bank, it is unlikely that any resolution which excludes borrowers would succeed. In the last two demutualisations of Irish building societies (Irish Permanent & First National), borrowers were awarded an equal share to depositors.

In the case of INBS, there is also an ethical argument to be considered. INBS has built up considerable reserves in recent years. It is likely that much of these reserves have come from borrowing members via the above-market-average rates charged to many borrowing members. I believe that it is important that borrowers share in the demutualisation benefits of INBS. I would welcome your feedback via the web-poll below as to how you think borrowers should benefit.