Like you, we’re born innovators

Back in 1884, our founder Charles Cooper began a quiet revolution: helping ordinary people afford homes of their own. Turns out it was the start of a history of innovation – from mobile branches in the 1950s to the UK’s first internet banking, and more recently wearable banking. Proof that we’ve been innovating since we were born.

Still not thinking like a bank

We were set up as a credible, approachable alternative to traditional banks – as a lender with a social purpose. Nothing’s changed. We’re as pioneering today as we were then: embracing the new, welcoming the emerging and standing shoulder to shoulder with the disruptive. As a mutual we are owned by our members and not by shareholders. Our founder Mr Cooper’s handwritten proposal, which survives in the archives to this day, states that the building society should be run for the members not for the capitalists.

Our approach to innovation is underpinned by this mutual ethos, the changing needs of our members, the communities we work within and our evolving organisation.

Venturing that's more like adventuring

Our 15 million members expect us to innovate beyond the insular world of financial services. To pick up on cues from major brands in other industries – deliver products and services that go beyond banking. This is why we have set up our new Venturing Team.

By looking to work with and learn from a range of the latest start-ups, we’re proving there’s a lot to be gained from new partnerships…

How could we help your start-up?

Our Venturing team will invest in, incubate and partner your early-stage start-up. They’ll explore unproven capabilities – look for ways these might define the future of our industry, and at how they could benefit our members.

Once we’re invested, we’ll work together to make the most of our partnership through sharing operational experience and our established networks looking to add value in whatever way works best.

More than money

We see venturing as a two-way thing. It is not just an investment, but a partnership, sharing know-how and expertise in the latest technological trends. That way, everybody benefits – us, our members, and you.

Now’s the time to get in touch with your entrepreneurial ideas. We’re looking to invest in seed and series A funding rounds, in ideas which could bring real benefit to our business and our members.

Ready to find out more?

Whatever your industry or your commercial experience, tell us why you think we'd make an innovative partner.

Contact our ventures team - Ready to find out more?