Swansea Building Society celebrates centenary with £100K donation to local charities

Swansea Building Society board at their recent strategy day

Swansea Building Society, with branch offices in Swansea, Mumbles, Carmarthen and Cowbridge, celebrates a milestone 100 years as a mutual during 2023. The Society’s centenary celebrations will include multiple initiatives, events and fundraisers to occur throughout the year, all based around the number 100.

The largest of the Society’s centenary initiatives will see it donate £100,000 to local charities. The majority of the funds will be divided between three main charitable causes, which have already been agreed and will be announced by the Society in the coming months. Furthermore, £15,000 will remain for the Society’s Swansea, Carmarthen, and Cowbridge branches to donate to charities related directly to their local communities which will be decided by the teams at these offices.

This £100,000 donation will be made in addition to the Society’s usual annual fundraising for its official staff charity, which has been named as Maggie’s Swansea for the second year in succession.

Other Society initiatives during 2023 include: 100 days of volunteering, where the Society will encourage its staff to volunteer on local projects; 100 trees planted, planting trees across Wales in collaboration with Stump Up For Trees; and a 100-mile fundraising trek, which will be broken up over a nominated timescale across various locations in South Wales, with the funds raised going to the Society’s staff charity.

The centenary celebrations will also include a fundraising gala dinner at Swansea Arena for past and present Society staff members and Non-Executive Directors, along with the Society’s partners, supporters and local dignitaries.

Later in the year, the Society is also set to announce the launch of its Charitable Foundation – a legacy project linked to its 100-year celebration – which will commence at the start of 2024. The aim of the foundation is to enable charities to apply directly for support, allowing it to bring focus to charities that might currently be overlooked. The funds will then be awarded by an independent board of trustees.

Swansea Building Society was founded as a mutual Building Society in February 1923. The Society’s principal objective has always been the provision of loans secured on residential property for the use of customers particularly in the South Wales area. These loans are funded by personal savings deposited in a variety of savings accounts offered by the Society.

The Society is one of only three remaining mutual Building Societies in Wales and the only Building Society or Bank with its headquarters in West Wales.

Alun Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Swansea Building Society, said:

“2023 is, understandably, a big year for the Society. To be able to celebrate 100 years as a mutual is a tribute to all the Society’s staff, directors and members across the years. Our Society has had to deal with many ups and downs over the last century, but it has weathered all of the storms – financial and otherwise – that have come its way, which makes us all very proud.

“Currently, the Society is seeing a period of sustained growth, with many successful years recently behind us. We have passed many significant milestones, including exceeding £500 million in total assets, and having been named the most profitable building society of our size in the UK – all this while increasing investment, expanding our offering, and continuing our ethos of opening and not closing branches.

“With all that in mind, it is wonderful to be able to reach our centenary on a genuine high and be able to give back to our local communities with this £100,000 donation as well as the myriad of initiatives we have planned for the year. There is more to come, in terms of announcements of our forthcoming centenary celebrations, so keep an eye out for what we have planned and how you might be able to get involved and help us to support our local communities across South Wales and beyond.”