Our History


An old photo of LBS Head Office Branch Albion Street, Leeds
  • 2015

    In 2015 we are celebrating our 140th anniversary. We’ve been helping members buy their homes and save for the future. We are proud of our heritage and we are looking forward to another 140 years of helping our members.

  • 2014

    The new website featuring new branding being displayed on a tablet device
    Our new website

    New branding and our new look website was introduced to support our vision of being the most successful building society in the UK by 2022.

  • 2012

    2012 was a significant year for us as we secure our position as the UK’s 5th largest building society. Our total asset size reached a historic high of £10bn.

  • 2011

    A portrait of Chief Executive, Peter Hill
    Peter Hill, Chief Executive

    Peter Hill was appointed as Chief Executive in August 2011. He joined the Society in 2001 and has been successful in both Senior Management and Director positions.

  • 2009

    In September 2009, we opened our Silverlink contact centre, 6 miles to the east of Newcastle city centre. The Contact Centre teams consist of over 30 advisors, handling up to 2000 calls each day. Silverlink is the first point of contact for all our existing members to discuss their current needs, as well as identifying ways to meet their future goals.

  • 2008

    A photograph of the first Leeds Building Society branch to open in Ireland
    Our Ireland branch

    We opened our Ireland branch in 2008, which is conveniently located in the heart of Dublin.

  • 2007/8

    Head Office refurbishment

    Our Head Office refurbishment programme took place between 2007 and 2008. This included an official re-opening by the Duke of York in December 2008.

  • 2007

    Leeds Rhinos sponsorship

    In 2007, we became the main club sponsor of Leeds Rhinos Rugby Club and we have enjoyed a successful partnership with them since. Our branding can be seen all around Headingley Stadium.

  • 2006

    On 1 August 2006, following approval by the Mercantile members and confirmation by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), Leeds Building Society merged with Mercantile Building Society. Mercantile members overwhelmingly supported the proposal at the Society’s AGM at the end of April with 97% of the votes in favour of the merger.

  • 2005

    Our new name

    In March 2005, at our Annual General Meeting, members made the historic decision to change our name to Leeds Building Society and this became effective on 12 September 2005.

  • 2003

    The yellow logo

    In 2003, we changed to our well-remembered ‘yellow look’ branding

  • 2002

    Our first overseas branch opened in Gibraltar in 2002, offering mortgages and savings products in Gibraltar and southern Spain. We currently have around 1,400 Gibraltar branch customers and our colleagues in branch are determined to show local people exactly what we can offer.

  • 1999

    The Charitable Foundation

    In 1999, our Charitable Foundation was established to support communities around our branches by making donations to charities working in those areas. Since it started the foundation has made total donations of over £1,200,000.

  • 1996

    Our call centre in 1996

    In July of this year, the Society expanded its service to provide a fully operational call centre, operating 8am-8pm, 7 days a week, and launched its first website.

  • 1970

    Our London Branch in 1970

    There had been a significant growth through branch expansion in the years leading up to 1970. One of the most important later developments was the first London office opening at 73 Kingsway, London West Central.

  • 1963 - 1970

    Black and white photo of three female typists
    Head Office 1963

    An extension of the current Head Office building was completed in 1963, with further extensions to the Headrow frontage was completed in 1970.

  • 1960

    Black and white photo of three female typists
    Typists working on the 1st floor of our Head Office in the 1960’s

    Assets reached almost £20m and the Board considered it fitting that the Society should have Armorial Bearings. A petition for a Grant of Arms was successful.

  • 1946

    Total assets passed the £6m mark and accounts totalled 32,000.

  • 1939-1945

    During World War 2, 30 members of staff (86%), both male and female, served in the armed forces. Fortunately there were no serious casualties.

  • 1930

    Leeds and Holbeck Building Society window lettering
    Head office branch window from 1930

    Our branch windows looked significantly different in the 1930s to the windows full of branded posters that you see today.

  • 1924

    Black and white photo of the Albion Street Head Office
    Our head office

    We have operated in Leeds city centre since 1886, and acquired our current head office site in 1924. By being located in a big city we been at the heart of a number of communities for many years.

  • 1886

    New premises were acquired at 51 (later it became 96) Albion Street, Leeds. The Head Office was established here. By the end of the 1800s, assets passed £250,000 and the number of accounts exceeded 2,500.

  • 1875

    Photo of the first LBS Head office
    Our first Head Office was located at the Mechanics Institute in Holbeck from 1875 to 1886

    In 1875 we were formally established and named Leeds and Holbeck (Permanent) Building Society. By the end of our first year, 450 accounts had been opened and we had distributed a total of £16,000 in mortgages. Our first head office was located at the Mechanics Institute in Holbeck between 1875 and 1886

  • 1845

    Black and white photo of the first Board of Directors
    Back in the day

    Our commitment to being a mutual building society is something that can be traced back to the first half of the nineteenth century. Although we weren’t formally established until 1875, a group of people formed the Leeds Union Operative Land and Building Society in 1845. Being owned by our members and rewarding them with benefits, is as important to us now as it was in centuries past.