Ipswich Building Society’s rebranding to the Suffolk Building Society was revealed to members at the virtual AGM.
A video was shared at the event, which can now be watched by members online, introducing viewers to the new visual identity. From traditional cast-iron street signs to half-timbered houses, the county of Suffolk has influenced the Society’s new brand style, with a modern, forward-facing aesthetic.
A new colour palette, fonts and imagery showcase the Society’s character, personality and county home, as well as representing longevity in a modern and distinct way. The rebrand is currently underway and will be rolled out in person, in print and across digital channels during the autumn.
Members of the Society approved the name change at last year’s AGM via special resolution* which will allow the long-standing, and proudly independent mutual to become known as the Suffolk Building Society. The move is designed to both widen the Society’s appeal and promote growth.
Independent research supports name change
Prior to asking members’ approval to change its name, Ipswich Building Society commissioned third-party research amongst members, staff and the general public in six key locations across the area it serves. The results of this research highlighted that the proposed new name is more inclusive, sustainable and appealing to people within the Society’s home county and beyond. In fact, during the mutual’s 171 year history, there have been various iterations of the company name, several of which referenced its county-wide heritage:
- 1849 – Ipswich and Suffolk Permanent Benefit Building Society and Ipswich and Suffolk Freehold Land Society established.
- 1969 – ‘Permanent Benefit’ cut from name resulting in Ipswich & Suffolk Building Society.
- 1975 – Took in Ipswich & District Building Society resulting in Ipswich Building Society.
- 2020 – Ipswich Building Society asks members for approval to become known as Suffolk Building Society.
Richard Norrington, CEO at Ipswich Building Society, commented: “Our 171st AGM comes after a challenging year for everybody, and we know that right now, many members will be seeking information about the impact of COVID-19 on the Society’s future operations. I’m delighted that, as an essential service, our branch facilities have remained available with additional measures to safeguard our employees and our visiting members.
“Our members have continued to support the Society throughout the pandemic: we have seen high volumes of business and, in fact, we welcomed nearly 1,500 new savers and opened over 3,000 new savings accounts over the course of our financial year.
“We have always been here to ‘protect the money of generations for generations’ and this is the case both now and in the future as we put in place the processes to implement our change of name. This name change is crucial for the future sustainability of the Society, and I thank our members who voted in favour of our decision.”
Alan Harris, Chairman of Ipswich Building Society, stated: “Despite the difficulties that 2020 brought, I can report that the Society has seen continued growth in mortgages and savings, and that we have been able to improve our capital position.
“We are firmly committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Society and remain dedicated to maintaining the Society as a mutual.
“This AGM and the member approval of our name change last year marks an important new era in our history, and it seems especially important today to thank all of our staff for their ongoing dedication and commitment. We very much look forward to continuing to serve our communities both locally, regionally and nationally as we begin our journey towards becoming Suffolk Building Society.”
Another special resolution was also agreed at this year’s AGM in order to allow future AGMs to be held electronically and/or in more than one physical location. Some other, smaller adjustments were confirmed and can be viewed here.