Portman Building Society

Portman Building Society has operated as a building society, headquartered in Bournemouth, England and operating administration unit in Wolverhampton. In August 2007, Portman was purchased by the Nationwide Building Society, establishing a mutual body with assets of more than £150 billion. Thus, Portman became a part of th largest building society in the world. Prior to the merger, Portman stood for the third largest building society in the United Kingdom. Moreover, the body was the largest of its kind in Southern England, operating with assets worth £15 billion. The structure had more than 1.8 million members and 154 branches.

The Society’s origins can be traced back to 1846 and the establishment of the “Provident Union Building Society”, situated in Ramsbury, Wiltshire. In 1881, the society emerged under different name: the “Portman Chapel Temperance Permanent Benefit Building Society”. In 1989, Portman merged with the Wessex Building Society and started operating under the name “Portman Wessex Building Society”. Various mergers took place such as the merger with “Regency and West of England Building Society” and the “Greenwich Building Society”, among others. In 2001, Portman acquired Sun Bank – a specialist mortgage lender. In 2003 and 2006, the society merged with “Staffordshire Building Society” and “Lambeth Building Society”. Portman announced its merger intentions with Nationwide Building Society in September, 2006. A protest group initiated campaign against the merger, claiming that the latter leads to loss of jobs and harms the members' interests. Regardless of the negative media attention, the members of the society endorsed the merger.

Portman’s business activities included the provision of mortgages, insurance products, savings plans, and investment products to citizens and loan offers to commercial enterprises. Mortgages included discount rate mortgages, fixed rate mortgages, and tracker mortgages. Insurance products comprised of mortgage related insurances, home insurances, buy to let insurances, and travel insurances. Portman offered various savings plans, such as savings accounts, cheque accounts, offshore savings, tax-free accounts, fixed interest and fixed income bonds, and guaranteed equity products. In addition, the society offered leasing opportunities and pensions and retirement planning.

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